" Vietnam Veterans Memorial" Vietnam Veterans Memorial Tip by gosiaPL

  Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the wall
by gosiaPL

My second most memorable place in Washington, D.C., really powerful, making you truly contemplate what you see there...
The idea to built a Vietnam memorial was conceived by Vietnam veterans in 1979 to begin a process of national reconciliation. The design was selected through national competition (of 1,421 design entries!), in which 4 key criteria had to be met:
- reflective and contemplative in character
- in harmony with its surroundings
- names of all who died or remain missing
- no political statement about the war
The competition was won by Maya Ying Liu, a 21 year-old student, who created a park within a park. I must say her design incorporates all 4 criteria perfectly!
The memorial consists of 2 polished granite walls, 247 feet long, pointing to the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. All the 58,209 names of the fallen and the missing are inscribed chronologically - from the first victim to the last. Thus the names ARE the memorial itself. The walls reflect not only the trees, but also the people visiting or looking for names, making a contemplative connection between the past and the present.

This memorial was dedicated in Nov 1982. A life-size sculpture of servicemen was installed in the fall of 1984. And then, another element, a sculpture of servicewomen was dedicated in Nov 1993 as a part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Be sure to find all these three parts for a complete and powerful experience. For more pictures of all these go to this travelogue.

This memorial is located to the left of the Reflecting Pool as you stand with your back to the Lincoln Memorial.

Address: 900 Ohio Drive, SW
Directions: Near the base of the Lincoln Memorial and the Korean War memorial at the west end of the National Mall. Located near Henry Bacon Dr.
Phone: 202.426.6841
Website: http://www.nps.gov/vive/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 23, 2005
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