Is This The Worst War Memorial Ever Built?

Ian-Fortey by Ian-Fortey on May. 29, 2014

How hard is it to build a war memorial?  Not the actual construction, or funding it, or deciding where to put it, just the idea?  It’s not, is it?  You want to pay tribute to veterans, to people who died, and you come up with some way, any way, to honor them.  In that regard, the idea is simple and admirable and something a lot of people could get behind.  A lot of people in Ohio got behind this idea as well, for a Korean War Memorial.  What happened next was such a parade of stupidity, ignorance, laziness and slackassery it’s amazing the current US military isn’t allowed to have someone shot, even if it’s just in the foot.

Take a look at Chillicothe, Ohio’s new Korea War Memorial.  It’s kind of busy, right?  It’s an 8 x 6 slab of black stone as well, just so you can get a feel for proportions.  Now, as a regular Joe, you may not at first see a problem here.  Other than it being kind of a curiously messy collage of images, what’s the problem?  You may want to grab a drink and sit down.

To start the ball rolling, the monument features the names of servicemen, local to the area, who died in service during the war.  Sorta.  Turns out whoever engraved the list only looked at one source and engraved 18 names.  At least 6 other names, which are on numerous other rolls including the Ohio Adjutant General’s department, the Online Korean War Project, the Korean War Honor Roll and more, were left off.  These names were brought to the attention of the people in charge of the memorial numerous times before it was unveiled, so it wasn’t as though no one had warning.

Next, have a look here;

See that?  That’s a Bell UH-1 helicopter.  That helicopter did not exist during the Korean war.  It was made in 1959, 6 years later. 

Hey look, a Korean War veteran!  Wait, no, that’s the uniform of a US soldier in the Gulf War.

Ahh, the good ol’ Stars and Stripes.  Who are those men walking towards it?  Hard to say, but maybe if you go to Washington and visit the Korean War monument there, which this is actually a photo of, it will say.  Someone photoshopped another monument into this monument.  That’s like putting the Statue of Liberty on the statue you’re building to honor liberty.

Those are F-16 Fighting Falcons, which were made about two decades after Korea.  They’re also decked out as the Thunderbirds, which is an acrobatics team.

Ahh, now here are some real Korean veterans, right?  Nope, that’s Vietnam.  But at least we’re on the right continent this time.

Just as with the helicopter and fighter jets, the tank doesn’t belong here either.  This is an M1 Abrams and didn’t see service until 1980.

There are numerous mistakes across the entire memorial that basically amount to someone Googling images and putting them on stone.

Paid for by locally raised funds, the entire memorial was contracted to an Ohio monument company who then contracted the work to a company in Savannah, Georgia who then outsourced it to a company in either Egypt or India, depending on who you believe, not that it matters.  Local residents who saw the planned image ahead of time even told the committee behind it that it was full of mistakes and were assured it would be taken care of.  Naturally, taken care of it was not.

The head of the committee, a veteran himself, says he doesn’t see what the big deal is, and also doesn’t understand how there could be more names to add to the list, despite apparent evidence that there are at least 6 more names that are included on many more accurate lists than the decades old DOD list which only organizes names by county of enlistment and is terribly inaccurate when using it as a basis to design a memorial.

So what’s to be done with this memorial?  A new fund has been created to include the names of the missing on an additional piece of granite but the rest of this lazily photoshopped monster will still stand.  If you had helped pay for it, what would you like to see done?