[simple_slideshow] The dedication ceremony for the Korean War Veterans Memorial has been postponed. Originally set for July 27 in honor of the 1953 armistice, the ceremony will be some time in November. A final date has not yet been set; organizers are trying to plan around Veterans Day events.
Some festivities will take place as scheduled for July 27. A Korean children’s choir is set to perform, and colonels from South Korea and the mayor will be present.
The center fountain is near completion. The water tank is being manufactured to recycle its water and fit in the fountain.
“It’s a work of art, believe me,” said Don Putnum of the Korean War Veterans Association.
They continue to raise funds for the project, which costs $150,000. Two-thirds of that cost is a loan, leaving the other $50,000 to cover granite, plumbing, electrical work, and brickwork. The main setback is the granite for the flooring.
“We’ve come a long way,” said Putnum. Professionals he talked to in the field are surprised at how quickly they have managed to turn their plans of a memorial into a reality. “It should take 10-12 years to do what we did in six.”
The memorial broke ground June 2010. Since then, granite blocks for the main sign and dedicated pavers have been engraved, brick walls have been built, and pillars and statues have been erected.
This work honors the 789 North Carolinians who were killed or missing in action during the Korean War. The memorial is built to “ensure that the soldier’s sacrifice will always be remembered,” and to commemorate what is called the “forgotten war.”
Adjacent to the KVWM will be the Armed Forces Museum and Archives of the Carolinas. It will showcase the five branches of the United States military: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The museum will cover 250 years of military history through artifacts and interactive learning, an much of the history will focus on the Carolinas.
Like the KVWM, AFMAC is selling granite pavers to honor a veteran or a member of the armed forces, and to support the museum. Pavers range in size, and prices start at $200. The museum is expected to break ground in 2014.
Photos by Amanda Waters.