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Vietnam War Memorial

Memorial in DC

Vietnam War Memorial

Located in Washington D.C., the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is truly a moving experience for all, and worth planning for. Designed to honor members of the U.S. armed forces, The Wall is dedicated to those who either died or were declared missing during the Vietnam War. A deliberate choice was made in the design of the Wall to exclude statements or expressions that would be controversial, since the Vietnam War was a heated issue. Maya Lin, the memorial designer, sums up the intent of her design, “The politics had eclipsed the veterans, their service and their lives.” Honor is due to those who served and paid the ultimate price for their country.

Visited by over 3 million people each year, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is best known as a reflective, contemplative place and the atmosphere is intended to be protective and quiet. The black granite is polished to the degree that it reflects the peaceful, park surroundings and bears the names of 58,261 men and women who either died or were declared missing in action. It’s impossible to comprehend what that many names inscribed into a wall looks like, and even pictures cannot do it full justice.

Interesting Facts

  • Dedicated November 13,1982.
  • Designed by Maya Lin.
  • The wall has two walls. Each wall is 246.75 feet long 10.1 feet high.
  • The Walls are made of black granite from Banlagore, India.
  • The walls form a 125 –degree angle.
  • The western wall is pointed towards the Lincoln Memorial, the east wall points toward the Washington Monument.
  • The wall has names of 58229 men and women who were killed or still missing in Vietnam.
  • 800 military personnel are still missing.
  • 8 women were killed in Vietnam.
  • If a name has a symbol of a diamond the person died in action.
  • If a name has a cross next to a name the person is still missing in action.
  • The names on the Wall are in order of when the person was reported killed or missing.
  • The wall begins on the east wall in 1959 and ends on the west wall in 1959.
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