The Vietnam War Memorial
The Three Soldiers
A short distance away from the wall is another part of the memorial, a bronze
statue named The Three Soldiers (sometimes called The Three Servicemen).
Negative reactions to Lin's design created a raging controversy; a compromise
was reached by commissioning Frederick Hart (who had placed third in the
original design competition) to produce a bronze figurative sculpture in the
heroic tradition in order to complement the memorial wall.
The statue was unveiled in 1984 and depicts three soldiers, purposefully identifiable as
White American, Black American, and Hispanic American. The statue and the Wall
appear to interact with each other, with the soldiers looking on in solemn
tribute at the names of their dead comrades. The distance between the two
allows them to interact while minimizing the impact of the addition on Lin's design.
The Memorial Wall, designed by Maya Ying Lin, is made up of two black granite
walls 246 long. 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 high, and they
taper to a height of eight inches at their extremities.
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. 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 are the names of servicemen who either died or remained
classified as missing in action when the walls were constructed in 1982.
The wall listed 58,159 names when it was completed in 1993; as of May 5, 2007,
when another name was added, there are 58,256 names, including 8 women. Visitors
can use directories to locate specific names.
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, to the
women of the United States who served in the Vietnam War, most of whom were nurses.
In Memory memorial plaque
A memorial plaque, was dedicated on November 10, 2004, at the northeast corner
of the plaza surrounding the Three Soldiers statue to honor veterans who died after
the war as a direct result of injuries suffered in Vietnam, but who fall outside
Department of Defense guidelines. The plaque is a carved block of black granite,
3 feet by 2 feet, inscribed "In memory of the men and women who served in the
Vietnam War and later died as a result of their service. We honor and remember
For more information, see link below
NPS Vietnam Veterans Memorial
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