Remember The Fallen View The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Please take time to view our photos of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The memorial is located near the Lincoln Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial. The site is over three acres and was completed in 1982. The memorial honors those that fought in the Vietnam War, those who died in Vietnam/Southeast Asia, and those Missing In Action.
The memorial is broken up into three parts according to Wikipedia:
The Memorial Wall is made up of two 246 feet 9 inches (75.21 m) long gabbro walls, etched with the names of the servicemen being honored in panels of horizontal rows with regular typeface and spacing. The walls are sunk into the ground, with the earth behind them. At the highest tip (the apex where they meet), they are 10.1 feet (3.1 m) high, and they taper to a height of 8 inches (20 cm) at their extremities. Symbolically, this is described as a "wound that is closed and healing."
When a visitor looks upon the wall, his or her reflection can be seen simultaneously with the engraved names, which is meant to symbolically bring the past and present together. One wall points toward the Washington Monument, the other in the direction of the Lincoln Memorial, meeting at an angle of 125° 12′. Each wall has 72 panels, 70 listing names (numbered 1E through 70E and 70W through 1W) and 2 very small blank panels at the extremities. There is a pathway along the base of the Wall, where visitors may walk.
The wall listed 58,191 names when it was completed in 1983; as of May 2014, there are exactly 58,300 names, including 8 women. Approximately 1,200 of these are listed as missing (MIAs, POWs, and others). Directories are located on nearby podiums so that visitors may locate specific names.
On the walls are the names of servicemen classified as KIA (Killed in Action), or MIA (Missing in Action) when the walls were constructed. The names are inscribed in Optimatypeface. Information about rank, unit, and decorations is not given.
Those who died in action are denoted by a diamond, those who where missing (MIAs, POWs, and others) are denoted with a cross. When the death of one who was previously missing is confirmed, a diamond is superimposed over the cross. If the missing were to return alive, which has never occurred as of March 2009, the cross is to be circumscribed by a circle.
The names are listed in chronological order, starting at the apex on panel 1E in 1959 (although it was later discovered that the first casualties were military advisers who were killed by artillery fire in 1957), moving day by day to the end of the eastern wall at panel 70E, which ends on May 25, 1968, starting again at panel 70W at the end of the western wall which completes the list for May 25, 1968, and returning to the apex at panel 1W in 1975.
According to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, "there is no definitive answer to exactly how many, but there could be as many as 38 names of personnel who survived, but through clerical errors, were added to the list of fatalities provided by the Department of Defense."
The Three Soldiers
A short distance away from the wall is another Vietnam memorial, a bronze statue named The Three Soldiers (sometimes called The Three Servicemen). The statue depicts three soldiers, purposefully identifiable as White American, African American, and Hispanic American. In their final arrangement, the statue and the Wall appear to interact with each other, with the soldiers looking on in solemn tribute at the names of their fallen comrades. The distance between the two allows them to interact while minimizing the impact of the addition on Lin's design."