Sunday, November 14: This morning, I slept in a bit and then went to meet Mithad in Itaewon. First we went to my favorite Western bookstore in Korea, What the Book. We went to my favorite Turkish restaurant for schwarma. Then Mithad’s friend Ayman met up with us and we visited the War Memorial of Korea.
The Korean Infantry at one time had their headquarters on the grounds of the War Memorial of Korea. This is the largest memorial of its kind in the world, according to Official Site of Korea Tourism: The War Memorial of Korea.
Before going inside the museum, we spend some time exploring the displays of different weapons and military equipment outside the building. Around 110 pieces of large military equipment/symbols are on display. They include Korean War sculptures, the Statue of Brethren, the Statue of King Gwanggaeto, AH-2, T-34 of the North, US B-52 and others.
Exhibits inside the building display equipment used during the Korean War in such a way as to invite comparison between the items. Large weaponry and equipment used by different countries during World War II and the Vietnam War are also on display. In the Large Equipment Exhibit on the second floor, many kinds of defense industry equipment and both real and model weapons are displayed. In the Bangsan Equipment Exhibit, you can look at weapons and war equipment produced in Korea. In the War Memorial’s Storage Room, 17,800 files and artifacts of war are preserved. Modern damage control and prevention devices have been installed to keep these materials safe from harm (Official Site of Korea Tourism: The War Memorial of Korea).
* Memorial Hall
This an exhibition hall dedicated to the memory of patriots involved in past war efforts. The place presents sculptures, reliefs, and wall paintings under the theme of overcoming hardship, and working towards the unity, prosperity and eternity of the nation.
* War History
The place features a war history from prehistoric era to the Japanese colonial period. Military remains, relics, and documents are on display as well. Among them are war & victory records, ammunition, the Turtle Ship (and other military vessels from the Joseon Dynasty), fortress models, and more.
* Korean War
Here, visitors can learn about the background of the Korean War, the progression of the war and how a truce was eventually established. Exhibits also display ammunition used by hostile and friendly forces, information and artifacts from people displaced by the war, and information on major battles.
After the War Memorial, I parted ways with Mithad and Ayman and headed back to the Rainbow Hotel, where I picked up my bag and took the metro to the train station. I took the slow train back at 4:43 and arrived in Daegu at 8:30. I was home in my cozy flat by 9:30. This is the last time I ever see Mithad.