Families fight for changes to errors on Korean War wall

Morning In America

WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — A memorial wall honoring the sacrifices of soldiers who died in the Korean War is riddled with errors.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial opened in July 1995 in Washington, D.C., before a remodel of its Wall of Remembrance was dedicated on July 2022.

The wall was dedicated to the tens of thousands who died in the conflict, but upon a closer glance, some families said there are mistakes. It’s estimated there are more than 1,000 mistakes on the 27-year-old memorial wall. Errors include typos, missing names of American service members and names of service members who died in circumstances unrelated to the Korean War.

Now, family members of the fallen are fighting to get their loved ones’ names on the wall. Some feel the wall should be torn down after the errors were discovered.

Terri Mumley’s grandfather, Lloyd Smith Jr.,  became one of the many who made the ultimate sacrifice in the war while on a reconnaissance mission off the coast of China on Jan. 18, 1953, The Washington Post reported. He died at the age of 30. Yet, seven decades later, her grandfather’s name cannot be found among the 36,000 fallen etched in the memorial.

Megan Marx also learned her mother’s first husband, Navy Ensign Dwight C. Angell, was left off the special memorial. He was 24, and on the same plane as Smith, The Washington Post reported.

“It makes me angry. It makes me frustrated. To me, it’s very personal because it’s my family,” Marx said.

Their names were left off the memorial because the losses were deemed to have occurred outside the direct war zone, an omission, according to The Washington Post. Mumley said the omission remains one of a number of mistakes on the landmark.

“Thousands of people are spelled wrong; there’s 500 at least missing that should be on the wall,” Mumley said. “There are three Medal of Honor recipients and their names are spelled wrong. It’s heartbreaking to our family. they call the Korean War the forgotten war but there’s so many men they forgot along with it.”

Marx and Mumley are lobbying to fix the errors. They point to the U.S. Department of Defense, which they said put together the list of names for the wall.

The omissions are among hundreds of errors that mar the memorial.

The Pentagon sent NewsNation a statement calling the errors an “unfortunate mistake,” and it continues to work with the U.S. Department of Interior on corrections, but notes that the official Korean War casualty list and military records may also contain mistakes, making a review challenging.

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