The goal of the Korean War Legacy Project is to assist teachers, students, and the general public in understanding the origins and outcomes of the Korean War, the challenges that soldiers faced while fighting it, and its rich legacy promoting democracy and freedom in the world today, which is exemplified by South Korea’s simultaneous achievement of rapid economic development and substantive democratization in late 20th century.
Due to the enormity of World War II and the controversial nature of Vietnam, the Korean War is widely under-appreciated by American educators, politicians, and the general public. In history textbooks, it is often referred to as the “forgotten war” and is described in just a few negligible paragraphs.
While the dynamics, impact, and legacy of the Korean War are often neglected in the historical record, South Korea and its people stand as a beacon of democracy within an increasingly turbulent world. In many contexts, the war is treated as an unfortunate stalemate. However, the reality is that United Nations intervention in Korea was a great success that helped create a strong nation and fostered alliances that last to this day. In fact, the Korean War is the only example of post WWII United States military intervention that resulted in a nation with a strong democracy and economy as well as a solid alliance between these two countries.