Adrian T. Miller
Wake Forest University

The Forgotten War Remembered in Cyberspace

     The Korean War is often referred to as the Forgotten War, due to the lack of publicity and press coverage it has received . . . This is true for television coverage, and it is also true for Internet coverage. . . "The 50th Anniversary of the Korean War" deals with the conlfict in highlighted details. "The Korean War Project" is all-encompassing and provides many links to other sites.

     The "50th anniversary of the Korean War" is a sparse outline of the events, providing only minimal, yet significant information. Tanner Computer Services of Mesa, California publish the site. It contains a bibliography, citing the following sources: Bevin Alexander, Korea, The First War We Lost; T.R. Fehrenbach, This Kind of War, A Study in Unpreparedness; Max Hastings, The Korean War; D.M. Giangreco, War in Korea; Rod Paschall, Witness to War, Korea; and Richard Whelan, Drawing the Line, The Korean War, 1950 - 1953.

     The anniversary website contains a timeline of the Korean War from August 9, 1945 until September 4, 1953, giving daily accounts of the major events and battles. It also provides personal histories and short story memories from Korean War veterans and their families. It includes an excerpt from veteran Arden Allen Rowley’s book, Korea-POW: A Thousand Days with Life On Hold 1950-1953. The site contains a list of organizations dealing with the Korean War, especially for veterans, as well as how to contact them. . . The site simply provides information for the reader and does not give an interpretation what is presented.

     The purpose of the anniversary website is to provide an outline-style history of the Korean War. The timeline, although comprehensive and complete, does not give much detail on the conflict itself. Along with the personal stories of veterans and their families, the website encourages other veterans or their families to submit stories or organizations. There is no apparent political goal . . .

     The "The 50th Anniversary of the Korean War" is organized thematically, with different topics branching to different links. These links are very clear and easy to follow. . . and helpful for further research. Overall this is a descent website providing only basic information, but doing so in a clear, easy-to-understand manner. The site would be useful to anyone who simply wants a quick briefing on the Korean War.

     The second website studied is entitled "The Korean War Project." It is a much more thorough site than the previous one. Korean War scholars Hal and Ted Barker of the Korean War Project created the site. The Korean War Project is a non-profit organization whose website is a service to "veterans, families, researchers, and students of military history." Sources cited on the site include the national MIA database, the US Department of Defense Directorate for Information Operations, and scholars Ted Barker, Tom Holloway, et al.

     The Project contains an extensive history of the Korean War, as well as Korean War MIA, KIA, and WIA databases. Anyone interested can submit a name of someone they knew in the war and find him or her in the database. Also included on this website is information on how to visit South Korea and a travelogue of North Korea from before the travel ban was imposed. There is information on Korean War reunions as well as links to the various armed forces, giving information on each during the war. There are also internal links for women in the war, POW camps, MIA issues, and a place for veterans who served at the DMZ to post messages.

     The purpose of this site is to provide information on the Korean War and to help veterans, their friends and families to make contact with one another. There is a strong emphasis on communication among veterans in this website. There is also a drive to get a traveling memorial to the Korean War, with information on how to contribute time or money to the cause. A link to the Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC, gives a page with pictures and the text from President Bill Clinton’s speech at its opening. The website has no overt political mission, although the heavy emphasis on veterans and memorials suggest an agenda of recognition for Korean War vets.

     The information within the site . . . is organized thematically. Throughout the homepage there are many links to other parts of the site that deal with specific issues of the Korean War and its veterans, such as a history of the war and veteran reunions. The Korean War Project is very well organized and easy to follow, although the many links given could be confusing, as they guide the reader deeper and deeper into the website.

     This website would be useful for those people who have plenty of time to thoroughly research the Korean War. In addition, the site is useful if the reader is interested in locating a veteran or an MIA soldier from the Korean War. There is a tremendous amount of information given throughout this website, much of it requiring the reader to possess knowledge of the Korean War or of the US military in general. . . There are a number of detailed maps that are helpful in understanding American military strategy during the war. This is an excellent site for anyone who wants a comprehensive summary of the Korean War.

     These two websites cover the Korean War, with each focusing on a different aspect of the war. The first site focuses on the 50th anniversary of the conflict, while the second focuses on the veterans of the war. The first site is more of an outline with facts on links. It gives a skeletal overview of the war. The second website is more comprehensive and thorough than the first. It provides much more information on the war itself and on how to find those who served in the war. The second website is superior to the first in all categories: it has better graphics, more links, more thorough information, and a better all around presentation. Hopefully, though, both websites will shed some light on this forgotten war and reintroduce the American people to the sacrifice that their sons made to contain Communism in the early 1950’s.