The Vietnam Memorial or Vietnam Veterans Memorial , located in Washington, between Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial , is a national memorial that pays tribute to the soldiers of the U.S. Army who fought in the Vietnam War , one of the longest and most controversial war in United States history. The memorial currently consists of three separate parts: the Three Soldiers statue, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, and the best known Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall .
The memorial was inspired by Jan Scruggs, an infantryman who fought in Vietnam. After he saw The Deer Hunter , he decided to build a memorial with the names of all the American soldiers killed in that war. The main part of the memorial was dedicated in November 1982. The memorial is maintained by the U.S. National Park Service, and receives around 3 million visitors each year. The Memorial Wall was designed by U.S. landscape architect Maya Lin. The walls are inscribed with the names of the more than 58,000 U.S. men and women who were killed or missing in the Vietnam War.
The Memorial Wall was designed by Maya Lin and its made up of two gabbro walls 246 feet (75 m) long.The stone came from Bangalore , India , because of its reflective quality. One wall points toward the Washington Monument, the other in the direction of the Lincoln Memorial Each wall has 72 panels, 70 listing names and 2 very small blank panels at the extremities. There is a pathway along the base of the Wall, where visitors may walk, read the names, make a pencil rubbing of a particular name, or pray.
Inscribed on the walls with the Optima typeface are the names of servicemen who were either confirmed to be KIA (Killed in Action) or remained classified as MIA (Missing in Action) when the walls were constructed in 1982. The Memorial Wall is inscribed with the names of 58,209 American’s killed or missing in the Vietnam conflict. The veterans names are listed in chronological order of when the casualty occurred and an alphabetical directory helps visitors locate names.
The Three Soldiers
A short distance away from the wall is another Vietnam memorial, a bronze statue named The Three Soldiers . The statue was unveiled in 1984 and depicts three soldiers, purposefully identifiable as White American, African American, and Hispanic American. The statue and the Wall appear to interact with each other, with the soldiers paying tribute to the names of their dead comrades.
Also part of the memorial is the Vietnam Women‘s memorial which is located a short distance south of the Memorial Wall . It was designed by Glenna Goodacre and dedicated on November 11, 1993, to the women of the United States who served in the Vietnam War, most of them as nurses. The woman looking up is named Hope, the woman praying is named Faith, and the woman tending to a wounded soldier is named Charity.
Let us never forget and honor the memories of those who gave their lives for our country!