Built in the memory of the soldiers who died in the dreadful Vietnam War, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial stands tall in the Constitution Gardens in Washington, United States. The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund, Inc. was one nonprofit organization which was bestowed the responsibly of funding and building the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. About 45,000 US service men and women died while fighting in one of America’s most divisive wars and another 10,000 soldiers went missing during the same time. The names of 58,627 deceased have been inscribed on the wall of this memorial. The memorial has been divided into three different parts, namely, the Three Soldiers Statue, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. The third part, that is, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is the most popular amongst the community, and has been visited by millions of tourists from all across the globe. If you wish to learn more, continue browsing through the following lines and come across some of the most interesting and fun facts about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Location: Washington, D.C. USA
Built in: 1982
Famous As: Memorial dedicated to soldiers who participated in Vietnam War.
Visiting Hours: 24 hours a day
Interesting & Fun Facts About Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- Jan C. Scruggs, a decorated Vietnam infantryman, is the main inspiration behind the establishment of this memorial. He set aside $2,800 from his own pocket and started raising funds for the construction of the memorial in May, 1972.
- Scruggs was successful in collecting $8.4 million for the designing and construction of the same.
- The first stone was laid on March 26, 1982 and in the same year all the three parts of the memorial were completed.
- The Constitution Gardens where the memorial stands erect adjoining the National Mall, and close to the Lincoln Memorial, was a result of Scruggs requesting the Congress to set aside 3 acres of land for the memorial site.
- The Vietnam War Memorial was designed by a 21-year old Yale University architecture student, Maya Ying Lin from Athens, Ohio out of a total 1,421 entries received as part of the design competition. A total of $50,000 was awarded to the winning design.
- The memorial is managed by the US National Park Service and governed by National Mall and Memorial Parks group.
- The Memorial Wall comprises of two black granite walls 246 feet 9 inches (75 m) long.
- At 10.1 feet (3 m) high, both the walls reach the highest tip where they meet, then narrowing down to a height of 8 inches (20 cm) at their extreme ends.
- Due to the best reflective quality, granite was intentionally imported from the Indian city of Bangalore in Karnataka.
- The bronze statue named ‘The Three Soldiers’, also known as The Three Servicemen, is located at a short distance from the Memorial Wall. The three statues represent the three different castes of soldiers, who were a part of the war. These three soldiers, identified as White American, African American and Hispanic American, seem to interact with the wall.
- The Vietnam Women’s Memorial is another part of the memorial situated towards the south of the wall. Designed by Glenna Goodacre in 1993, the memorial honors the women who served in the war, most of them being nurses.
- In 2007, the American Institute of Architects awarded Vietnam Veterans Memorial as the 10th most favorite on the ‘List of America’s Favorite Architecture’.
- The wall which point to the direction of the Washington Monument is the East wall; on the other hand the wall that points to the Lincoln Memorial is the West wall.
- The names on the walls are not hand-carved, rather they were engraved by a computerized typesetting process called photo stencil gritblasting, done by the electronic typesetting company Datalantic, Incorporated, Atlanta, Georgia. Larry Century developed the process for the inscriptions.
- After six names were added in 2010 the total number of names listed on the memorial now stands at 58,272 of which1200 are listed as missing. A diamond symbol against the name of the soldier indicates that he was killed. Whereas, a cross indicates the soldier is missing and if the cross is circled it means the body was identified.
- Inscribed on the walls are the names of servicemen who were considered to be KIA (Killed in Action) or were categorized as as MIA (Missing in Action) when the construction work of the walls got over in 1982.