The War Memorial of Korea

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On Sunday I went and visited Emily and we went to the war museum with a couple of the peolpe she lives with. The museum was huge and was a fantastic day out although by the end we found ouselves wondering and gossiping rather than paying attention to the exhibits. Maybe the museum was a bit too huge!! But it was an interesting day so here is some of what we saw. See the photos section of the blog for loads more pickies.

According to the museum website the museum is an: “Exhibition of many records and artifacts solely dedicated to war in order that you may understand the history of Korean patriotism.”

Whilst walking around the museum watching parents take pictures of thier children it was interesting to see that all the children made the V for victory sign every time they had their photo taken. This signifies South Korea’s past victories during wars with North Korea, and Japan. In the photo below notice a couple of the men also making the V sign. (I’m not sure what their uniform is, as soon as I find out I will post an update.)

I digress. The war museum….

You can look around the outside of the museum for free. You can look inside tanks and planes and even sit in the drivers seat. The soliders must have been either small or flexiable because I only just managed to clamber into the drivers seat (below). This tank was made of aluminium to save weight and was able to drive on both land and in the water.

After a good look around outside we went inside the museum. The first room we walked into was celebrating the convergance of sunlight and water. If you look at the middle of the photo (below) you can see a beam of sunlight on top the water feature in the middle of the room.

The room was beautiful, this photo doesn’t do it justice at all. The inscription on the plaque read:

“The fountain symbolises the convergance of sun light and water at the t’aeguk (the ultimate cosmic entity) on the hemisphere. This represents “The creation of the cosmos” generating new life force. The relief sculpture on the lower wall is “the Heritage of Nationalistic Patriotism” (the history of Korean people’s sacrifice in defense of the nation). The murial painting composed with the intertwining coils of straw on the dome titles “the spirit of the people” depicts hope for solidarity and harmony of the Koreans.”

The 10 soilders in the photo below gave thier lives during an assualt against North Korea that they knew would end in certain death. The plaque on the exhabit told of how North Korean forces staged an ambush against the 11th Regiment, the First Division of the South Korean army on Mt Songak on May 3rd 1949.

“The North made the attack in an effort to block the South’s efforts to construct a front line base camp and to gague their capacity for war. The South’s army tried hard to counter the attack and regain the camp but failed because of the North’s machine gun fire. Ten soliders voulnteered to make a suicide attack. They attacked the enemy’s machine gun site by hand carrying an 81mm mortar shell and blasted it. Without their sacrafice regaining the lost camp would have been impossible and their sacrafice was rewarded by a special promotion of rank and the Ulji medal.”

As i discovered more about the Korean war I was interested to learn that the first time the UN took on a military role was during the Korean war after North Korea disregarded a UN resolution.

“On June 25 1950 the UN Security Council called an emergency meeting at the request of the United States of America. Condemning the assault by the North as a breach of peace the UN ordered an immediate cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of invading North Korean forces. However North Korea disregarded the UN resolution and took Soeul, South Korea’s capital, on June 28 1950. At this, the UN took on a military role for the first time in history and organised the UN command for collective security in order to assist in replling the invading power. As a result, 16 allied nations contributed combat troops to the korean war effort, with five others providing medical support.”

j150vsc – Thu, 2006 – 09 – 14 14:36

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