Korean War Veterans Memorial
I was told one of the best times to photograph the Korean War Veterans Memorial was during snowfall. Something about the frost and snow conditions makes this memorial quite eerie. Although I was there in winter, the weather didn’t oblige me with any snow for my own Korean War Veterans Memorial photo. As with most of my travel photos, I like to look at the images other people shoot to get some ideas before I visit a place.
To be honest, I didn’t find many that impressed me. They also didn’t capture the spirit evoked by the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Even though I wasn’t alive during the Korean War, I grew up with stories about it. Almost every adult leader in my Boy Scout troop was a war veteran. They served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Some of them overlapped and served in two wars. Since M*A*S*H was a popular show at the time, a lot of conversations and war stories came up from curious Boy Scouts and the men who were trying to politely set the record straight.
They never told us any gory war stories, but you could occasionally see a grimace if we got too close to a sensitive subject. Instead, these veterans brought the lessons they learned from their military experience and conveyed them to the Scouts so we could benefit from their experience — without the need to go to war. They told us about the emotions of being on a patrol in the dark of night, wondering if the next danger would come from a hidden attack or a land mine.
I admired those men. Still do. Some were combat engineers. Some were infantry. They all did their tours of service, but then they came home to live a family life and do their job as a plumber, mechanic or shipping clerk.
When I see the Korean War Veterans Memorial at night, the expressions on those statues remind me of the stories I heard as a teenager from the men who lived that experience. Those memories guided the way I decided to process this image. I didn’t have a “look” in mind as much as I had a “feeling” that I wanted to convey. Maybe next Winter I’ll go back to see how it looks in the frost & snow.