Overview

The Status Report and 5-Year Expansion Plan:
The Korean War Veterans Digital Memorial

Jongwoo Han Syracuse University / October 28, 2011

  1. Title: The Korean War Veteran Digital Memorial, www.kwvdm.org, a prototype to be completed in November of 2011)
  2. Synopsis: Construction of a community website that will host a professional database of interviews and artifacts collected from Korean War Veterans. The website will preserve historical records for the use and education of future generations.
  3. Purposes:
    1. To create a permanent and efficient method of recoding the memories and experiences of Korean War veterans.
    2. To educate future generations about the sacrifices made by KWVs and to pass down lessons learned from the Korean War
    3. To emphasize the importance of a mutual relationship between the United States and Republic of Korea that was built on the blood of Americans and Koreans during the Korean War
    4. To symbolize the peace founded on the Korean Peninsula when the Armistice was replaced with a peace treaty thanks to the sacrifices of KWVs.
  4. The Current Status: A prototype under construction with the Korean War Veteran’s Association, the Central New York Chapter #105, Inc. 1600 artifacts and 35 interviews (each about an hour in length).
  5. Response from KWV Community: It has been extremely well received among members of KWVs in the Central New York. The project team will make a presentation about the project before the KWVs at the National Convention of KWV Association on October 28-31, 2011 in Boston.
  6. Rationale for 5-Year Expansion Plan:
    1. The average age of KWVs is about 80 years-old (6.9 million KWVs in 1955 to 2.2 million in 2011). It is projected that this figure will be halved by 2016.
    2. The most effective, cost-efficient, and interactive way to preserve the valuable historical records of each Korean War Veteran
    3. KWVs are the bridge based in blood between the United States and Republic of Korea from which the U.S. and R.O.K. have come to form the most important strategic alliance in the 21st century Pacific-Asian region.
    4. The web-based digital memorial is the best way to utilize and preserve this important historical data for future generations of democratic free world
    5. We can expand this prototype to the KWVs living in other states and cities throughout the United States and to the KWVs living across 15 other countries as well.

    Veterans Population of Top 10 States for 30 years
    States Year201120162021202620312036
    California205,300123,70060,40022,3005,8001,000
    Florida196,900122,20061,20023,0006,0001,000
    Texas143,20091,70047,20018,3004,900900
    New York112,70067,70032,60011,8003,000500
    Pennsylvania108,70066,20032,30011,8003,000500
    Ohio87,80053,80026,4009,7002,500400
    Illinois77,60046,80022,6008,2002,100300
    Michigan72,10045,00022,5008,4002,200400
    Arizona65,20042,90022,6008,9002,400400
    Virginia40,10017,2005,3001,1001000
    Source: National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics - Veteran Population,
    http://www.va.gov/Vetdata/Veteran_Population.asp

  7. The 5-Year Expansion Plan: Proposal to expand the KWV Digital Memorial prototype to KWVs in other states by 2016 through the collection of interviews and artifacts. We will concentrate in states with the highest number of KWV population: California, Florida, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Arizona, Virginia, Massachusetts.
    1. Data Collection Method:
      • Primary Collection: New York State and Eastern states
      • Online submissions: KWVs in remote areas and other countries can submit artifacts and testimonials online using their smart phones and Internet.
      • Third Party Collection:Partner with other institutions in the states with the highest concentration of KWV population to assist in data collection.
    2. Expansion Plan: from 2012 to 2016
    3. Plan Period Major Focuses
      The Second Year 2012 Securing and building the nationwide network of KWVs and continuing to collect data
      The Third Year 2013 Expansion of Database structure and collection of more data
      The Fourth to Fifth Year 2014-2016 Management of Database and analysis of collected materials

  8. The Plans for Promotion and Utilization of KWV DM
    1. Build the KWV DM into the Wall of Remembrance at the Korean War Veterans Memorial, if erected. (Rep. Ralph Hall R-TX, July 18, 2011)
    2. Writing an Op-Ed piece upon the completion of the KWV DM (The Post Standard in Syracuse, The New York Times, Washington Post, Radio Free Asia, Voice of America and other major newspapers and news media in Korea).
    3. Youth Research and Internship Projects
      • Research grants for young students who initiate projects and ideas that utilize information from the KWV DM
      • Connecting the KWV DM with online social media like Twitter and Facebook
      • Forming a partnership with K-12 public schools to supplement history education
      • Connecting K-12 and higher education institutions of the United States with those in Korea to form an interactive discussion.