24 February 2009

Korean memorial

This is the brilliantly designed Florida Korean War Memorial a few blocks from the capitol. The information here is from the state Department of Veterans' Affairs Website.

The designer said of the memorial:
The main entry to the Memorial occurs at the corner of Gaines Street and Suwannee Street in Tallahassee. The concrete walkway, which meanders through the existing trees in Cascade Park, provides an approach where one will catch glimpses of the memorial area through the trees. It reveals the Memorial in small pieces or frames, and refrains from disclosing the entire Memorial until the visitor has fully arrived. At the terminus of the approach, one crosses a threshold marked distinctly by a change in the walking surface.
The focal point of the memorial plaza is a large vertical circle that represents the purity of life through perfect geometry. This the "Circle of Life." The top of the circle is broken, signaling an interruption in this purity. A broken fragment that would complete the circle is lying adjacent to the large circle and has become embedded in the ground. The names of those killed in action are etched on the inside of the broken fragment which once completed the "Circle of Life."
The Memorial represents those who have fallen and shows that the Korean War interrupted the lives of all involved, including family, friends, and those of all services who fought there. This interruption in the "Circle of Life" left an indelible mark on our nation, a mark that will never be replaced -- a point in history.
The visitor will find a large map of Korea located on the ground of the Memorial. The map is divided into two parts by the "Circle of Life" element. The Demilitarized Zone shown on the map is what guided the placement of the circle.
The final major component is the timeline. Upon entry, the visitor will be able to walk around the outer edge of the Memorial and experience a timeline that chronicles the War. Along the timeline are rough-hewn markers that give a brief story of the war and its major battles. Markers are placed in relation to the time of the occurrence.
-- Shawn Bliss, Designer

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Korean War Veterans' Memorial was on December 2, 1998 at Cascade Park in Tallahassee. The dedication was December 11, 1999, and was attended by about 1,000 people from all over the state. The keynote speaker was Governor Jeb Bush. Among the dignitaries attending were Harley Coon, National KWVA President and Kwang-Sok Ryu, the Korean Consul General.

Here are the names of the 583 Floridians who gave their lives in the war.

A ceremony was held on Saturday, June 24, 1 pm marking the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the war. Attending were Lt.Gen. Bob Milligan, USMC (Ret.), Comptroller, State of Florida; Edward Magill, National 1st V.P., Korean War Veterans' Association; Lt.Col. Robin Higgins, USMC (Ret.), Executive Director, Florida Dept. of Veterans' Affairs; Scott Maddox, Mayor, City of Tallahassee; and Frank Brogan, Lieutenant Governor, State of Florida

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