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Teaching About the Korean War: The Korean War Commemoration Committee

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Five decades after the end of the Korean War it continues to remain the “forgotten war” in many textbooks. Often, neither students or teachers know much about the Korean War period. In 1998, the 105th Congress of the United States established the Korea War Commemoration Committee (KWCC) to honor the 50th anniversary of the Korean War. Consisting of military and civilian members, including representatives from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.

KWCC Goals:

  • Identify, thank, and honor veterans of the Korean War, their families, especially those who lost loved ones.
  • Recognize and remember the Prisoners of War and Missing in Action (POW/MIA).
  • Recognize the contributions of women and minorities to their nation during the Korean War.
  • Provide the American public with a clearer understanding and appreciation of the lessons, history, and legacy of the Korean War.
  • Inform future generations of Americans of the U.S. military’s contributions to the nation in maintaining world peace and freedom through preparedness and engagement.
  • Recognition of United Nations forces engaged in preserving the peace, freedom, and prosperity of the Republic of Korea.
  • Ensure commemoration events strengthen and unify the bonds of friendship and relationships throughout the world focusing on the 22 countries that fought as allies and the adversaries.

The Commemoration Program offers a variety of products and services to educators to enhance and extend the teaching of the Korean War and the contributions of the veterans.

Among the products available are (1) single copies or class sets of a special Korean War edition of Cobblestone magazine, (2) single or small group sets of Peacebound Trains by Haemi Balgassi, a Korean War story for elementary students, and (3) a set of ten posters: one map, one chronology/timeline, and eight theme posters.

The entire text and illustrations of Cobblestone and Peacebound Trains plus their teacher’s activity guides are available at the KWCC web site www.korea50.mil. Peacebound Trainsis also available in bookstores (ISBN: 0618040307). The posters include a map poster, designed by Patrick M. Reynolds, the syndicated cartoonist who draws History Flashbacks. The poster is a map of Korea at the time of the Korean War. It includes the major military operations of the war and drawings of typical military members from all countries involved in the Korean War. This poster is also available in a smaller size without the activities—this size is suitable for small group activities. (Approximate size 35”x40” or 11”x17”).

The Chronology Poster is a timeline of the significant events of the Korean War. Both the Chronology and Reynolds Posters have teacher activities on the reverse side. (Approximate size 27”x35”).

The eight 18”x24” theme posters present their themes with historical photographs: Women in the Korean War, POW/MIA’s of the Korean War, The Immeasurable Cost of Freedom, The Elusive Peace, Defending the Frontlines, Supporting the Frontlines, Air Power, and Man Your Battle Stations.

Suggested lesson plans are also available through KWCC. Topics include Korean War and Geography, long and short units on the Korean War, 1950s and the Korean War, and the Korean War and the Cold War.

The Korean War Commemoration Committee’s web site has a wealth of valuable background information, including fact sheets, citations for all Korean War medal of honor recipients, A-Z factoids, and contact access to the committee.

All items are free while supplies last. There is no shipping charge and the KWCC maintains the right to limit quantities. For additional information contact:

Martha Kennedy-Lindley, J01, USNR

Education Program Coordinator

Department of Defense Korean War Commemoration Committee

1213 Jefferson Davis Hwy., CG4 Suite 702

Arlington, VA 22202

Phone: 703-602-4153

Email: Martha.Kennedy-Lindley@HQDA.army.mil

35” x 40”, full color poster of a map of Korea at the time of the Korean War, designed by Patrick M. Reynolds. See back of this poster on next page. Courtesy of KWCC.
Above: Backside of the Reynolds poster with reproducible teacher activities such as flag matching, timeline, crossword puzzle and word search. The flags are circa 1950. Courtesy of KWCC.
Example of typical theme poster with actual photographs from the Korean War. Courtesy of KWCC.
Map of Korean Peninsula taken from: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_ and_asia/korean_peninsula.gif

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