After seeing the World War II Memorial, the Lubbock Junior Academy students began the long walk towards the Lincoln Memorial. On the south side of the Reflective Pool they stopped at the Korean War Memorial. It is in the form of a triangle intersecting a circle. On one side of the triangle is more than 100 tons of highly polished “Academy Black” granite from California.
Sandblasted onto the wall are more than 2,500 archival images representing the land, sea and air troops who supported those who fought the war. Within the triangle are larger than life statues of American soldiers who appear to be in desperate need of rest, food, and many of the basic comforts from home. The students noticed their looks of despair and realized war is not always glorious. It can be ugly and emotionally draining. All of us took time to observe the faces of the statues and saw how they appeared to be trudging instead of marching. They too were on a long walk. But their walk also bore a sad weight upon their shoulders. Monuments in Washington, D.C. do not all celebrate America’s victories and famous men and women. The Korean Monument helps us to remember the sad realities of war and its effects on people. Another granite wall reminded all of us that, “Freedom is Never Free.” Something we all need to remember.