Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - May 20, 1997, Tokyo, Japan>ACIRC SIMS AND STRIPES „ TODAY, NAY 20,1997 S
* Leaky fountain, buckled paving
and ring of dead trees plague me-
morial to "forgotten war."
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Dave Pearson, vis-iting from New Hampshire, wasn't sure
what to expect at the memorial honoring
those, who fought and died in the Korean
War. But he knows he didn't like whathe found..
The Korean War Veterans Memorial,
which cost $18 million to build and was
dedicated less than two years ago, is fall-
"With all the money, there shouldn't
be any reason why it should be like
this," said Pearson, 44, of Sandown,
N.H., one of scores of tourists who visit-
ed recently. "Most people would be dis-
Bejhind a cordon of yellow police tape,
workers were removing hundreds of
gray paving stones that form the central
plaza of the memorial. A cascading wa-
ter fountain, a centerpiece symbolizing
tranquility, was dry except for a dirty
puddle of rainwater. And only holes
filled with gravel marked the spots
where $0 shade trees once ringed the
fountain. They all died a year ago.
Veterans of the Korean War — known
by some as the "forgotten war" — wait-
ed 42 years to get a memorial. Even af-
ter Congress approved it in 1986, it took
nine years before it was dedicated in
July 1995. Within months there were
For the past eight months, several fed-
Visitors to the §C®r@@ft War Memorial In
Dedicated in It95, the memorial lias
eral agencies, the memorial's architect
and contractors have been trying to find
out what caused the plaza area around
the fountain to buckle, why all the trees
died and why the fountain hasn't worked
Last week, Democratic Sen. John
Glenn, the former astronaut who fought
in Korea and campaigned for a memori-
al, fired a letter off to the Park Service
and the Army Corps of Engineers, de-
Tbc Associated Press
n look at a [email protected]
fen into disrepair.
manding that repair work be stepped up.
"It is disrespectful to our Korean War
veterans to see the national memorial to
their service in such a state of disre-
pair," he wrote.
Retired Col. William Weber, a double
amputee from the fighting in Korea, said
he too prays for a quick repair.
"It's a great disappointment that it's
deteriorated as rapidly as it has," said
Weber, who was a member of the presi-
dential advisory board that worked to
get the memorial built
The memorial, just south of the Lin-
coln Memorial and across a reflecting
pool firorh the Vietnam Veterans Memo-
rial, has a complex design in two parts.
One is the fountain and plaza area; the
other is a gently sloped hill with 19stainless steel sculptures of patrolling
soldiers — all climbing toward the foun-
tain. There have been no problems with
The rest of the monument is another
"It's terribly unfortunate. It's a shame
that visitors to Washington have to see it
in this shape," said Earle Kittleman, a
spokesman for the National Park Ser-
vice, which manages the memorial.
Lloyd Caldwell, chief of construction
for the Army Corps' local district, said
all parties are working to correct the
problems, and the fountain leak has
been repaired under warranty. He said
the problems with the water circulation
were caused by leaves falling from the
nearby trees, clogging the filter system.
Those trees died and are now gone.
"Our objective is to have the pool op-
erating by the end of this month," Cald-
well said. As for the dead trees and
buckled pavement; he said "a final solu-
tion^ ... has yet to be determined."
Joe Purka of the American Battles
Monument Commission, one of the many
groups that signed off on the monument
design, said the problems are "disap-
pointing" but not totally unexpected.
"There's always a shakedown period,"
little ^S^ $3.00and it will be
seen all overthe Pacific.
Tell him what• he means to
you... reserveyour spa<
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