SD Korean War Memorial
Located at the Capitol Complex - 500 E. Capitol Avenue - Pierre, SD
Forgotten War. Remembered Heroes.
Dedicated September 18, 2004
The South Dakota Korean War Memorial portrays a brave American GI devastating enemy forces and artic weather during the Chosin Battle. The soldier is still fighting as he glances over at his fallen brethren, their names now upon a wall. He is low on ammunition, frostbitten, tired and unshaven, but with a look of determination, he gives the soldiers a Centurion salute and completes his mission.
The Chosin Battle
Near the North Korean and Chinese borders, United States troops faced a surprise invasion by the Chinese Communists. More than 125,000 troops swept down on the U.S. force of 25,000. During that battle alone, U.S. troops sustained more than 6,000 casualties. The horrific winter conditions caused more than 6,000 cases of frostbite. U.S. forces stopped the huge enemy force then retreated back to the south before resuming a war that lasted three years.
The Korean War was an extremely bloody conflict. The United States lost 54,000 troops in just three years, nearly as many as those lost in the decade-long Vietnam War. There were an estimated 1,313,000 casualties and one million refuges during this 'Forgotten War'.
Unlike their comrades from WWII, the Korean Veterans returned to life in the states without fanfare or acclaim. Even though Korean War Veterans’ heroic efforts were not derided like those of the Vietnam Veterans, Korean War Veterans were often ignored by the American public. This was partly due to the political peace that never set a victorious outcome to the war.