Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Korean War Veterans Memorial - Washington, DC

“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” - General Douglas MacArthur, Commander-in-Chief of the United Nations Command in Korea

For me personally I have always found the Korean War Veterans Memorial one of the most profound and at the same time saddest memorials on the National Mall in Washington, DC. It may have to do with the fact that it is often overlooked by the nearby memorials of the ever so popular Lincoln Memorial and emotional Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The Korean War has been nicknamed, “The Forgotten War” since it has been overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War. It is unfortunate that most Americans still overlook this period of our history.

The memorial consists of nineteen stainless-steel soldiers on combat patrol marching through rough terrain. It was dedicated in 1995 to honor the nearly 37,000 Americans who gave their lives in the 1950-1953 war (or conflict as some may call it).

As a photographer I have alway found it difficult to photograph the Korean War Veterans Memorial from an artistic point of view. It doesn’t have the grand Parthenon-inspired architecture like the Lincoln Memorial nor does it have the majesty of the World War II Memorial. Also, the lighting on the statues can be very contrasty and not consistent from statue to statue. I have been at this memorial many times and I have always had a hard time looking for a creative angle. One morning I walked down to the memorial before sunrise and circled around the soldiers before I eyed this composition.

I was playing around with Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 and I came up with this unique color scheme. It reminded me of those old Korean War film footage that were shot in black and white and later converted to color.

2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the ending of the Korean War. In light of the Memorial Day holiday, which in the United States is a day to honor and remember the fallen who have given their lives in service to their country, I wanted to pay tribute to these soldiers and let them know they have not been forgotten.

Honor the Fallen!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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