San Francisco Korean War Memorial

San Francisco Korean War Memorial

Terminal 3

Jun 14, 2018 - Sep 13, 2018

San Francisco Korean War Memorial

In recognition of the sixty-fifth anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement, which led to the cessation of hostilities on the Korean Peninsula, San Francisco International Airport is proud to present a photographic survey of the San Francisco Korean War Memorial. In 2009, the Korean War Memorial Foundation, a non-profit organization, undertook the mission to design and build a Korean War memorial in San Francisco to commemorate the sacrifices made by those who fought in the so-called “Forgotten War,” educate future generations about those sacrifices, and ensure that those generations never forget the true cost of war. The memorial was completed and officially opened to the public in August of 2016.

The San Francisco Bay Area was chosen for the memorial site because it was the embarkation point for many who fought in the war, and the end of the journey for many who returned. The Memorial stands in a prominent place in the Presidio, adjacent to the San Francisco National Cemetery. It faces west with a breathtaking view of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Ocean, and beyond toward the now prosperous and democratic Republic of Korea.

The Memorial is located at the corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Sheridan Avenue. Two stone walls flank the main entrance on Sheridan, and an interpretive panel nearby provides details on the geopolitical circumstances that led to the Korean War. The main Memorial Plaza is a large, oval space framed by a backdrop of trees, hedges, and flowering plants. On the right, facing west toward Korea, is a long, gently curving wall, approximately ten feet high, made of polished black granite. The wall consists of a series of panels laser-etched with iconic images from the war and descriptive text. In the center of the plaza is a circular bench enclosing a planter. The planter contains several young Korean pine trees surrounded by stones from key battle sites of the war, each identified by a small metal plaque. At the far end of the plaza, a stairway leads down to a smaller, more intimate area within the Memorial. Nearby, benches allow for rest, remembrance, and reflection. Adjacent to this area, facing Lincoln Boulevard, is a series of panels where the individual donors—Korean War veterans, their families and survivors, and other supporters—are recognized on more than six hundred inscribed tiles and plaques commemorating those who served and sacrificed.

Since the Memorial opened in 2016, the Korean War Memorial Foundation has concentrated on developing an education program, in cooperation with the San Francisco Unified School District and other agencies, to ensure that future generations remember the Korean War and those who sacrificed to protect South Korea’s freedom.

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