Korean War Veterans’ Memorial nears completion

Two and a half years since the groundbreaking ceremony and beginning of construction of the NC Korean War Veterans Memorial in the Park on Fairview, construction is 85 percent complete.

The granite sign was first, then came the footings and construction of the four-foot tall brick wall planter, topped with 80 green boxwood plants.

Plumbing PCV lines were laid, connecting the fountain in the center of the memorial and the irrigation system to the planter and trees. A 1,000-gallon tank to supply the water has been buried and is ready to be hooked up to the main water supply line. Electrical conduit lines to the in-ground lighting throughout the memorial are ready for wiring to the control panel. A six-inch concrete flooring was poured and an additional amount of concrete was added on four sections in the center that will be covered with Astroturf. Two life-size granite statues, one dressed in a poncho and the other in class A uniform, stand guard at the four 14-foot tall granite pylons with the names of the 788 men from North Carolina who were killed or are listed as missing in action during the Korean War.

 

Loads of four-inch granite slabs were placed starting at the sign and moving down into and through the memorial. On many of the slabs are more than 400 engraved memorial pavers remembering and honoring “veterans of all wars.” Stainless steel handrails have been manufactured and await installation on the two handicap ramps leading to the fountain and Hallowed area of the memorial. The center is the water fountain with the South Korean flag, the “Taeguk,” colored in red and blue with fiber-optic lighting at night.

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AFMAC honors ex-POWs with movie

The Armed Forces Museum & Archives of the Carolinas (AFMAC) will present a documentary honoring ex-prisoners of war at three venues. On Saturday, May 26, at the Mint Hill Historical Society’s Ashcraft Schoolhouse, 7601 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, showings are at 9:30 am and 10:30 am (space is limited). Other showings are Saturday, May 26, at 3 pm at the Morrison Regional Library and Wednesday, May  30, at 7 pm at the South Charlotte Banquet Center, 9009 Bryant Farms Road. All showings are free and open to the public.
The video, entitled Honoring Our World War II Heroes—The American POW Experience, is a 30-minute broadcast-quality documentary about the POW experience and is dedicated to honoring, preserving, and sharing the courage and sacrifices of our local WWII heroes, many of whom live in our community.
AFMAC, a museum scheduled to break ground in Mint Hill in 2014, will be unique in that it will honor all five branches of the United States military: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. When completed, visitors will experience an educational showcase of 250 years of military history combined with the home front support and sacrifices. Details and donation information can be seen at VisitAFMAC.org.

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Korean Appreciation Day in Mint Hill draws more than 300

The organizers of the new North Carolina Korean War Veterans Memorial in Mint Hill held a Korean Appreciation Day at the Park on Fairview Sunday. More than 300 tuned out for the event which was an appreciation for the Korean communities in Charlotte and the South for helping to finance the new memorial. Don Putnam, president of the Korean War veterans association chapter which spearheaded the effort to build the memorial, received at check for $56,244 from the Consul General of The Republic of Korean based in Atlanta, GA  on behalf of the Republic of Korea government.
The crowd heard speeches from Mint Hill Mayor Ted Biggers, North Carolina Representative Bill Brawley, Putnam and Bill Reid of the NCKWVA. Speeches were also made by several prominent Koreans from the Southeast including Hae Jin Chun, Consul General of The Republic of Korea; Sang Kun Park, President of Korean Associations, Southeast; and Jin Chul Yu of The Federation of Korean Associations, U.S.
“I am Korean by birth,” Yu told the audience, “but I am also a flag waving American.”
Attendees enjoyed a Korean traditional dancing, martial arts demonstrations, traditional Korean cuisine, and hot dogs. Korean American women, dressed in traditional clothes, laid a wreath at the memorial.

 

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