When it was unveiled in 1982, nothing but controversy met the design of Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the 58,000 Americans who ... More
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
When it was unveiled in 1982, nothing but controversy met the design of Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the 58,000 Americans who died in the Vietnam War or remain missing in action. Maya Ying Lin may have been no more than a 21-year-old graduate student when she won the design contest for this memorial, but her work is now etched in the memories of countless visitors who have walked along this black granite wall filled with names.
Rich with symbolism and history. I was glad I had an app on DC Monuments with me -- as there was more meaning to the granite wall than I realized on prior visits. All the components of the memorial are very well done.
I was in Washingtonon a business trip and went to the wall. My uncle served in Vietnam and like most Vets does not talk about his experiences over there. As I walked up to the wall area, you could hear the sounds of Washington all about you, but when I entered the area of the wall it was as if time stood still and all noise was muted. Deathly quite as you walked the wall and read the names. You could feel the presence of those honored on the wall. I was totally awed at the feelings it envoked. I will definately go back and take my wife. I am a U. S. Airforce Veteran with 3 sons in the military
We will go back, we will always go back... please read on...
My father, Gerald Henry Gaylor, died in VietNam by a terrorist bomb, January 22, 1966. His name is at 04E-82. A few years ago while my mother and I were visiting, a woman and her young children saw me rubbing my father's name and asked who he was. We told them about his story and she told her children that we are heroes because we gave up our husband and father, but didn't "give up". We said no no no, it's not us-it's all of them, pointing to the names. We debated for a few minutes and conversed about other things, but we all left feeling very different than when we arrived. THAT is what this "place" does to you.
My Grandfather served in Vietnam. There are names of many of his friends on that wall, who died in service to our country. As I looked for the names he mentioned, the names of my own battle buddies (as I am an OIF veteran) who fell in combat came to me. I think I felt enough for my grandfather and I both that day. Many will not understand, unless they have served. However, it was apparent that even those present who will never know that emotion, were touched by this memorial
At first I thought it was a Museum but is not is just a section of the park dedicated to Vietnam. The have statues of a couple of Soldiers in battle gear it looks like they walking in the woods. It was a cool experience though. i would recomemded since it is free.
This memorial made the hair on my arms stand up. I did not know anyone that died during the War. But I found several men that share my last name. As I walked along the wall looking at those names, in the background there was school kids from some high school there reading off the names for Vet's Day. There were lots of wreaths and notes along the wall to sons, husbands, and fathers that brought tears to ones eyes. When ever anyone would speak it was in a soft quiet tone, very respectful. There is one picture there of a father with his hand on his son's name, and the reflection shows his son with his hand up on his father's hand. Now if that does not bring a tear then you are tuff.
I highly recommend this Memorial and it is free. Well worth your time, bring a hankey.
The first place we went to after landing at Dulles was the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I was instantly overwhelmed and filled with incredibly strong emotions that I never knew I possessed, especially as a naive 13 year old girl. I'll never forget that experience and the intense message and strong feeling of life radiating in that area.
Here I am 20 years later, a proud veteran, who will never forget. I look forward to sharing my experiences in D.C. with my children in a few years. Just thinking about that time as I write this gives me goosebumps...it's that important and powerful.
(I had the opportunity to take a school organized trip to Washington DC during spring break when I was in 8th grade. I had no idea how much that experience would impact my life. I'm grateful that I'm able to remember every detail, especially because I have no photos because my camera broke. I truly appreciated the time we spent there and still am amazed at how much we were able to see and do in one week. I never knew a 13 year old girl could understand the history of our country, respect what I learned and saw and form values that have been with me since that trip.)
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