Crews are set to break ground this fall on a Korean War Memorial in San Francisco that will become the first major monument on the West Coast dedicated to the early 1950s conflict.
Han Dong-man, consul general of the Republic of Korea in San Francisco, is expected to present a $1 million check to the Korean War Memorial Foundation at a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday at the future site of the memorial in the Presidio. That money will bring the project just shy of its $3.5 million target to build the memorial.
The foundation was established in 2010 to build a permanent memorial honoring the nearly 2 million United Nations service men and women from 21 countries who fought to protect South Korea’s freedom during the war.
The Bay Area was chosen for the memorial because it was the point of embarkation and return for many of the service men and women during the conflict, said Gerald Parker, executive director of the foundation.
“The Korean War for decades, even immediately after it ended, started being known as the Forgotten War,” Parker said. “There are so many people who don’t know our own history. [This is] one little microcosmic portion of our history. We intend to shine a light on it.”
The memorial site will be situated at the corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Sheridan Avenue in the Presidio. Two stone walls will border an entrance to the memorial plaza, along with a circular bronze plaque with an inscription to acknowledge the contributions of the U.N. in the war.
Upon entering, a path will open into the main memorial plaza, which will feature a large oval space with a curved 10-foot-tall wall inscribed with iconic images from the Korean War and descriptive text. There will also be a more intimate area
recognizing veterans and their families.
Construction is expected to be completed by June 2016.