The most iconic place to commemorate the Korean War in the U.S. capital has gone electronic, enabling people anywhere to experience it anytime.
A Pentagon team dedicated to honoring all veterans of the 1950-53 war on Friday unveiled the Korean War Veterans Memorial Virtual Walking Tour at a website, http://koreanwar60.com/kwm
"Korean War veterans and individuals who want to learn more about the Korean War can now access a wealth of information, including videos, electronically regardless if they are at home on a desktop computer or traveling with a smart phone or another mobile device," Lt. Col. Tim Washington said at a press conference.
He heads the Department of Defense 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee.
He said his team was inspired by a number of veterans who attended the Korean War Armistice Day event in July in the memorial at the National Mall. President Barack Obama attended it and delivered a speech to mark the 60th anniversary of the armistice.
Washington said he and his colleagues recognized there are also many more veterans and others who have no ability to get there because of age and finances.
"And we decided that it would be a good thing to have some way for the veterans here to experience it in some meaningful way," he said.
The Virtual Tour is one of last projects for the committee, which is to complete its three-year mission at the end of the year.
Established under the 2011 Defense Authorization bill, it has been tasked with honoring the service and sacrifice of Korean War veterans and enhancing public awareness on the historical significance of the war, often dubbed the "Forgotten War."
The Pentagon has recast it as the "Forgotten Victory."
Although the committee will be disbanded, its major works will stay alive.
"We are planning to keep the 'Koreanwar 60' site up and running even after the end of the committee because the information and collaboration available through our site is too important to let end when we reach the end of our commemorative period," Washington said.
Among other digital products available at the site are the Korean War Wiki, an interactive feature where veterans, their families and others can share stories and leave notes, and graphic novels on war heroes to promote understanding among younger generations.
The panel initially pushed for print-version graphic novels as well but gave up the plan due to a lack of funding.
Washington said his team is also working to open a virtual tour program for the Korean War exhibit at the Pentagon building.(Yonhap News)