President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited the Korean War Memorial at the National Mall in Washington D.C., Thursday morning for a wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War.
The President and Melania stood before the wreath of flowers in a moment of silence. The two then backed off and formed a line with a military official with Trump saluted and Melania placing her hand over her heart as a military trumpeter played “Taps.”
Shortly after paying their respect, the first couple went on to greet U.S. Korean War veterans in attendance, stopping to speak privately for several minutes. Trump also saluted each and every veteran he spoke to.
“Appreciate it. Thank you very much. We’ll take good care of all of you,” Trump was overheard telling one of the veterans.
Also in attendance was Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, and Lee Soo Hyuck, South Korea’s ambassador to the U.S.
Following the ceremony, both the president and the First Lady were given a brief tour of the Korean War Veterans Memorial by a National Park Service official. Located on the southeast of the Lincoln Memorial, the memorial consists of a granite wall with stainless steel statues of soldiers in front of it. Images of troops moving by sea, land, and air sandblasted onto the surface of the wall.
Nineteen stainless steel figures, including members from each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, are situated in the center of the memorial space. It is dedicated to U.S Armed Forces that served and sacrificed during the 3-year Korean War. The reflection of the statues on the granite wall shows 38 soldiers that represented the 38th parallel, the dividing line of North and South Korea. The Pool of Remembrance has the inscriptions of soldiers killed, wounded, missing in action, and held as prisoners during the Korean War.
The Korean War began June 25, 1950, when Communist North Korean troops invaded the U.S. backed South Korea. 5.8 million Americans served in the Korean War, with 36,574 killed, 103,284 wounded, and 8,200 missing in action. The war’s ended with the signing of an armistice on July 27, 1953. The armistice was never replaced by a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula split by the Demilitarized Zone.