Memorial Brings Past to the Present

by K-Dean

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was designed to reflect the images of the people visiting the wall which symbolizes bringing the past and the present together.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC pays tribute to those who served, fought and died in the Vietnam War. The memorial is a black granite wall with the names of over 58,000 Americans who were killed or went missing during the Vietnam War. The veterans’ names are listed in chronological order of when the casualty occurred. An alphabetical directory helps visitors locate names. The walls are 250-feet long, 10 feet-tall and gradually slope to ground level. Approximately 1,200 of the names are listed as missing and are marked with a cross, while the confirmed dead are marked with a diamond. When visitors look at the wall, they can see their reflection among the engraved names, which is meant to symbolize bringing the past and present together.

In 1980, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation set up a design competition to any U.S citizen 18 years of age or older to design a memorial. The winner was an undergraduate at Yale University named Maya Ying Lin.

Although the wall is a beautiful tribute, many people wanted a more traditional memorial, so a bronze Vietnam Veterans Statue was placed nearby. The statue portrays three young American men, dressed in uniforms and equipped with armored vests and guns. The man in the middle represents a Marine and the men on the right and left of him are U.S Army Soldiers.

Each soldier portrays the major ethnic groups that were represented in the ranks of U.S. combat personnel that served in Vietnam. The statue’s three men are identifiable as Caucasian, African American and Hispanic.These three figures were based on three actual young men, two of them were active-duty Marines at the time that the sculpture was commissioned. The designer of the statue was Frederick Hart, who had placed third in the original design competition.

Another part of the memorial is the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. The statue is dedicated to the women of the United States who served in the Vietnam War. They risked their lives to care for the countries wounded and dying soldiers. The sculpture depicts three women in uniforms caring for a wounded soldier. The woman looking up is named Hope, the woman praying is named Faith, and the woman tending to a wounded soldier is named Charity. It was designed by Glenna Goodacre and dedicated on November 11, 1993. The memorial receives approximately three million visitors a year.

Read more:

Vietnam Veterans Memorial | Washington

Famous Monuments and Memorials

Vietnams Veterans Memorial Wall Page

Women’s Memorial Foundation | Women who served

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