Date of Degree

9-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

David T. Humphries

Subject Categories

American Studies | Public History

Keywords

Korean American, Kissena Park, Korean War Memorial, Flushing

Abstract

The Korean War is branded as the "Forgotten War," but forgetting is an unconscious act and the Korean War is not so much forgotten as it is ignored. This paper looks at how the Korean War memory has been resurrected through Korean War memorials at first on a national level and then on a local level. Through the Korean War Veterans Association website, I looked at all the Korean War memorials throughout the U.S. and demonstrate how they create a distinct war narrative of sorrow and sacrifice that does not necessarily focus on the war itself. Then I delve into a case study in Kissena Park located in Queens, New York. I look at the construction of the memorial, then at the reception of the memorial from eleven Korean Americans who live in Queens. This park is located in Flushing, which has the largest density of Korean Americans in New York, making the memorial unique in its presumed relationship with the local community. From the interviews, I examine how their Korean ethnicity creates a conflict between the veteran-inspired narrative of the Korean War Memorial in Kissena Park and the absent historical context of how the war was fought and its aftermath.

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