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Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Vietnam War Memorial honors over 58,000 U.S. veterans who fought in the Vietnam War. The memorial consists of 2 acres of land, on which are built two stone walls etched with the names of the service members being memorialized. The walls come together at an angle, and there is a path that runs alongside both walls for visitors to use as they read the names.
A short distance away from the walls is a statue of three soldiers, called “The Three Servicemen,” which depicts an African American, a European America, and a Hispanic American soldier. There is also a statue of three women nurses attending to a wounded soldier’s needs; this is the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.
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The Vietnam War Memorial was built entirely without the use of any government funds. Over 275,000 donors including celebrities, corporations, and even labor unions contributed to the project.
Names of veterans are still regularly submitted for review and are added to the wall every year.
In 2007, all the names on the wall were read aloud in honor of the memorial’s 30th anniversary.
Only 8 of the names on the wall are the names of women.
Frequently, visitors of the memorial leave items intended to honor the fallen soldiers represented on the wall. In fact, one visitor even left a motorcycle. Park Rangers collect such items every day and take them to a storage facility that is not open to the public.
Useful Link: www.nps.gov/vive/index.htm