I remember it being extremely hot and humid on this day for some reason. But to be honest, it’s been the same consistent weather here in Seoul ever since I landed. And with that being said, you can easily forget what day it is because in the end, it all feels the same. But on this particular day, a few friends and I decided to take a little field trip down to the Korean War Memorial Museum. With our cameras loaded into our backpacks, we were ready to soak in the history of South Korea and how it came to be.
The museum exhibits and preserve materials related to the Korean War and serves as a national moral educational venue. It was established to commemorate the noble sacrifice of patriotic martyrs by the War Memorial Service Korea Society on June 10, 1994. The museum itself consists of seven indoor exhibits, including the Memorial Hall, The War History Room, The Korean War Rooms, The Expenditionary Forces Room, The ROK Armed Forces Room and the Exhibition Hall of Donated Relics and Children’s Museum.
Starting from the second floor, we made our way through the Memorial Hall first. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted with a dimly lit room with white columns going down along both our right and left sides. But as we looked up, the ceiling was pitch black as little bright white stars twinkled everywhere. This room was the Stars of National Defense; it commemorates a number of war heroes killed during the war, who protected Korea and became the eternal stars of national security.
With so many interactive exhibits, it was both fun and a wonderful educational experience for everyone visiting the museum. Personally, I learned so much more about the events that lead up to the Korean War and how South Korea fought hard for freedom. After years of suppression and political turmoil, the people finally had enough and wanted peace for themselves. And the only way they could win peace for themselves was to fight for their freedom.
Of all the exhibits I visited, the War History Rooms had the most significant impact. Each display consisted of donated relics ranging from military equipment, journals, to uniforms and cars. The purpose of the room itself was to show the history of forefather’s resistance from foreign aggressions since the prehistoric age. In essence, Korea was constantly fighting outsiders all while trying to keep their country together.
Indeed, the Korean War Memorial Museum gave me a closer insight to the history behind Korea. After years of fighting for independence, Korea was able to break away from the suppressing chaos before eventually splitting into the North and South Korea that we know today. Although it is still unclear as to if the two Koreas will ever unite, I’m pretty sure that if it does happen one day, the Korean people will only become stronger as a community both mentally and emotionally. With so much history writing both countries, Korea is indeed a unique and a one of a kind destination to be at.