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Vietnam Veterans Memorial

From Academic Kids

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is the most identified feature of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
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The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is the most identified feature of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a national memorial located in Washington, D.C. that honors members of the U.S. armed forces who served in the Vietnam War. The main part of the memorial was completed in 1982 and is located in Constitution Gardens on the National Mall, just northeast of the Lincoln Memorial.

The Memorial consists of three separate parts — the Three Soldiers statue, the Vietnam Women's Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, which is the most recognized part of the memorial. The wall is made up of two black granite walls about 250 feet (75 meters) long. Inscribed are the names of those who died in chronological order. As of 2004, when ten names were added, there are 58,245 names. 1,200 of these are listed as missing (MIA's, POW's, and others).

A satellite image of the Wall taken on ,  by the . The dots visible along the length of the angled wall are visitors. For a satellite view of the Wall in relation to other monuments, see .
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A satellite image of the Wall taken on April 26, 2002 by the United States Geological Survey. The dots visible along the length of the angled wall are visitors. For a satellite view of the Wall in relation to other monuments, see Constitution Gardens.
Contents

Structure

Memorial Wall

These walls are sunk into the ground with the top flush with the earth behind them. At the highest point (the apex where they meet), they are 10.1 feet (3 m) high, and they taper to a height of eight inches (20cm) at their extremities. Granite for the wall came from Bangalore, India. One wall points toward the Washington Monument, the other in the direction of the Lincoln Memorial. 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. Optima is the typeface used on the wall. The first inscription on the wall reads, "IN HONOR OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES WHO SERVED IN THE VIETNAM WAR. THE NAMES OF THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES AND OF THOSE WHO REMAIN MISSING ARE INSCRIBED IN THE ORDER THEY WERE TAKEN FROM US."

Three Soldiers statue

Main article - Three Soldiers statue
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3_soldiers_statue.jpg
The Three Soldiers

A short distance away from the wall is another part of the memorial, the Three Soldiers statue. It was designed to complement the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, by adding a more traditional component. The statue, unveiled in 1984, was designed by Frederick Hart, who placed third in the original competition.

Women's Memorial

Main article - Vietnam Women's Memorial

Also part of the Memorial is the Vietnam Women's memorial. It is located a short distance south of The Wall, north of the Reflecting Pool. It was designed by Glenna Goodacre and dedicated on November 11, 1993.

The Vietnam Women's memorial
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The Vietnam Women's memorial

History

Reading names in the polished marble
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Reading names in the polished marble

The Memorial Wall was originally designed as a student project by Maya Ying Lin, a 21 year old Yale architecture student. She submitted the winning design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in a national competition.

On May 6, 1981 a jury of architects and sculptors unanimously selected Lin's design for the memorial from 1,421 other entries. Groundbreaking was held on March 26, 1982 with dedication of the memorial on November 13, 1982 after a march to its site by thousands of Vietnam War veterans. Her design was for the central element of the monument, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

The design lacks many of the elements traditionally present in war memorials, such as patriotic writings and heroic statues (although The Three Soldiers statue was added to the memorial site in 1984, and the Vietnam Women's Memorial in 1993, in part due to the dissatisfaction of some with the Wall). Names are listed in the chronological order in which servicemembers died, and information about rank, unit, and decorations are not given. Controversy surrounded the wall's dedication, with some veterans' groups decrying it as inappropriate or unpatriotic. Since then, however, both veterans and the American public in general have come to admire the Wall, which is one of the most visited sites in Washington.

External links

he:אנדרטת מלחמת וייטנאם pl:Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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