Retired IBEW Local 48 business manager Ed Barnes reports that the Clark County chapter of the National Korean War Veterans Association received an anonymous $5,000 donation last month toward a Korean War “Wall of Remembrance” in Washington, D.C. Barnes, second vice president of the Northwest Oregon Labor Council, has helped the chapter raise nearly $77,000.
“That’s tops in the country,” said Michel AuBuchon, treasury officer for the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C., which has been tasked with raising the funds necessary to build the Wall.
In 2016, President Barack Obama signed a law authorizing a Wall of Remembrance to be incorporated into the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall. The Wall will list the names of 36,574 American military personnel and over 8,000 Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA) who gave their lives defending the people of South Korea.
Shamefully, Congress didn’t attach any money to the legislation, which at the time was estimated to cost $15 million. Today the price tag is $22 million. All money to build the Wall has to be collected through private donations. To date, only $1.3 million is in the bank.
But help could be on the way. AuBuchon says the Foundation has been in contact with a delegation from the Republic of Korea and there is a very good chance that South Korea will appropriate “a good portion,” if not all, of the money needed to build the Wall.
The concept and design of the the Wall have cleared several commissions, and general contractor Whiting-Turner of Washington, D.C., has been awarded the contract. AuBuchon said the National Capital Planning Commission is slated to vote on final approval May 7.
HOW TO CONTRIBUTE
Checks payable to The Korean War Memorial can be sent to the NW Oregon Labor Council, 9955 SE Washington, St., Suite 305, Portland, OR, 97218.