A Photographic Tour of the Korean War Memorial

Many of you, our donors and supporters, may not be able to visit the Korean War Memorial for one reason or another: time, distance, health, or other issues. With that in mind, the following is a brief photographic tour that will provide you with a glimpse of what your generosity has helped create.

aerial photograph of memorial

An aerial view of the Memorial. On the right is the Sheridan Avenue entrance. In the center is the main Memorial wall and the circular bench and planter. And in the lower left corner, along Lincoln Boulevard, are the commemorative tiles and plaques. The plantings are all still young, and will mature and spread in the coming years. (Photo courtesy of the Presidio Trust)

The Memorial is in San Francisco’s Presidio, once a renowned U.S. Army base and now a stunningly beautiful National Park. The Memorial stands adjacent to the San Francisco National Cemetery, at the corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Sheridan Avenue, with breathtaking views of San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Pacific Ocean.

map of memorial site

Site map of the Korean War Memorial
(Map courtesy of the Presidio Trust)

Two walls flank the main Memorial entrance on Sheridan Avenue.

photo of memorial entrance US and Korean flags

The Sheridan Avenue entrance to the Korean War Memorial
(Photo by Charity Vargas, Presidio Trust)

On the inner side of the entrance walls is an inscribed black granite panel acknowledging the generosity of the major donors, without whose support this Memorial would not exist. First and foremost are our two eminent partners in this endeavor, the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Presidio Trust.

close up of panel showing major donors

The Major Donor Panel on the inner side of the entrance wall

Nearby interpretive displays provide context, in words, photos, and maps, on the circumstances that led up to the Korean War, the major military and political developments, and the outcome.

photo of men looking at the panel

Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon studies one of the interpretive displays during a September 10, 2016 visit to the Memorial. On the left is KWMF Treasurer Don Reid, and on the right,
KWMF 2nd Vice President John Stevens.

The visitor then enters the Memorial Plaza, a large oval space framed by a backdrop of trees, shrubbery, and flowering plants. On the right, facing west toward Korea, is a long, gently curving wall, approximately ten feet high, made of polished black granite. The wall consists of a series of panels laser-etched with iconic images from the war and descriptive text.

photograph of memorial from the right side

The Memorial Wall viewed from the right
(Photo by Charity Vargas, Presidio Trust)

photograph of memorial from the left side

The Memorial Wall viewed from the left
(Photo by Charity Vargas, Presidio Trust)

closeup of text listing war casualties

The left end cap of the Memorial wall:
the true cost of war, the true price of freedom

photo of visitors viewing memorial on opening day

Opening Day, August 1, 2016
(Photo by Tom Graves/

In the center of the plaza is a circular bench enclosing a planter. The planter contains several young Korean pine trees surrounded by stones from key battle sites of the war, each identified by a small metal plaque.

photo of Korean pine surrounded by circular gray bench

The circular bench and planter with Korean pines and battle stones

closeup of battle stone

The battle stone commemorating the Liberation of Seoul, September 28, 1950

On the outer perimeter of the Memorial, facing Lincoln Boulevard, is a low commemorative wall. Here is where Korean War veterans, their families and survivors, and other donors and supporters have commissioned six hundred inscribed tiles and dozens of bronze plaques in honor of those who served and sacrificed.

*(NOTE: The addition of a limited number of tiles has recently been authorized by the Presidio Trust. Please see our announcement for full details.

John Stevens holding Mayor Park's hand and pointing to an inscription

Mayor Park and John Stevens reading the tile and plaque inscriptions

closeup view of a section of tiles and plaques

A sample of some of the commemorative tiles and plaques

We hope that this “tour” has provided you with some idea of the visual and emotional impact of the Korean War Memorial. We also hope that all of you may someday have the opportunity to visit and experience it first-hand. In the meantime, if you would like a free brochure describing the origins of the Memorial and our future plans, please contact us at (415) 817-1858 or