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Memorial sculpture of US general unveiled at UN Peace Park, Busan

Nov. 13, 2023 - 22:23 By Hwang Joo-young
"Going to the Future Together" (Courtesy of Kwon Chi-gyu)

A special ceremony unveiling a memorial sculpture of Gen. Richard S. Whitcomb, who served in the Korean War (1950-1953), took place at UN Peace Park in Busan, Saturday.

Titled "Going to the Future Together," the sculpture commemorating the US General was created by sculptor Kwon Chi-gyu, 57, who also created a sculpture of Ahn Jung-geun, an independence fighter during the Japanese colonial period, at the Ahn Jung-geun Memorial Museum in Seoul.

Gen. Whitcomb served as the commander of the 2nd Logistics Command in Busan and is known for his dedication to helping refugees in Busan after the Korean War.

According to the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, Gen. Whitcomb distributed military supplies to help disaster victims who had to evacuate from a fire in front of Busan Station in 1953.

Gen. Whitcomb also raised funds for building orphanages and the Maryknoll Hospital in Busan as well as persuaded then-President Park Chung-hee to allocate land to found Pusan National University.

To honor his service to the country, the South Korean government awarded him the highest order of civil merit, the “Mugunghwajang," in 2022.

Sculptor Kwon Chi-gyu speaks during the unveiling ceremony of "Going to the Future Together" at the UN Peace Park in Busan, Saturday. (Courtesy of Kwon Chi-gyu)

"Unlike other bronze sculptures, I designed the height of the platform to be low and painted it colorfully as I wished it to be more accessible for ordinary people. I tried to reflect Gen. Whitcomb's philosophy that the way to recover from the scars of a war lies in education," Kwon explained.

"Going to the Future Together" was created through public donations that started being collected last year and will be donated to Busan Metropolitan City.