Korean War Memorial at Patriots Park


College of the Ozarks, located just a short drive from Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, will dedicate The Korean War Memorial on Wednesday, April 18, at 2:30 p.m.

The purpose of The Korean War Memorial is not only to honor the 944 Missourians who paid the ultimate sacrifice but to honor all 36,574 Americans who gave their lives, to pay homage to all Korean War Veterans who served their country, and to ensure that students learn about the sacrifice of so many who served in this historic conflict.

The memorial was built by College of the Ozarks students and staff and made possible by a gift from Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, and the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge golf tournament. The College is one of the charitable beneficiaries of this tournament.

The memorial was designed by James Hall of Nixa, Missouri. The stunning bronze monument, titled The Pain of Sacrifice, depicts a brave service member who just lost his brother in arms. This piece illustrates that war is a necessary evil; sacrifice comes with war; and war is painful, especially during loss.

“It’s important that we never forget what these men and women sacrificed for our freedom,” said Jerry C. Davis, president. “The Korean War was a crucial time in our military history, and our servicemen and women deserve to be honored.”

General Terrence R. Dake, a 1964 graduate of The School of the Ozarks and a four-star general with the United States Marine Corps., currently serves as the chairman for the College of the Ozarks Board of Trustees. He addressed the crowd at The Korean War Memorial groundbreaking in November 2017.

“We hear the Korean War referred to as The Forgotten War,” Dake said. “Somehow it was wedged between the immensity of World War II and the notoriety of the Vietnam War, which nearly tore our nation asunder. They call it The Forgotten War, and yet more than 35,000 military gave their lives. More than 100,000 were wounded, and a larger number served.

“Anyone who says that The Korean War was not a war that should have been fought, or it wasn’t worth fighting, or it wasn’t important, needs to be a student of history and understand the importance of the Korean Peninsula and those events that are unfolding. Warriors don’t pick their wars. They don’t get a chance to say, I want to go to a popular war, or a righteous war, or a war that will change the course of history. They go where their nation sends them. They fight their best, and hopefully they come home.”


The rendering above shows an artist's interpretation of how the Korean War Memorial will look when complete.



Patriots Park at College of the Ozarks encompasses Veterans Grove and other memorials built by the College to honor those who have served and sacrificed for our country. Veterans Grove is comprised of more than 100 sugar maple trees that honor Veterans who have traveled with C of O students on trips to historic battle sites.

The Missouri Vietnam Veterans Memorial, located at the entrance of the College, exists to honor the fallen and properly thank Vietnam War Veterans for their sacrifice and bravery. The memorial bears the names of the 1,410 Missourians who served and died in the Vietnam War. The project was a collaboration between the College and the PGA TOUR. C of O is an official charity of the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf tournament.

A new memorial was built in spring 2017, The Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial. The purpose of the memorial is to honor Gold Star Families (those who have lost immediate family members killed in their service to the country), to preserve the memory of the fallen, and stand as a stark reminder that freedom is not free.

Guests to campus are welcome to visit Patriots Park daily, from sunrise to 10 p.m.