Photographer's Note

The Vietnam Memorial on the Mall in Washington was the first memorial to the soldiers of a war, rather than to the war itself, at least in D.C. Since then, the Korean War memorial was built with the same thought; the WW II memorial, a hideous construction, made an attempt but failed miserably.

It was also the first memorial on the Mall that was not a presidential monument. Except for the two mentioned above, it remains the only one (although the MLK memorial is nearby, as are the Jefferson and George Mason memorials).

It is amazing to me that still, after all these years, the memorial is very crowded, and not just with tourists. Many people look up names in the books available at either end and then go to the place where the name of the person they knew is shown. (Names are listed in order of death; there are about 60,000 of them.) There are cards, flowers, and the like everywhere along the length of the monument. Some of the people I saw on this day were obviously Vietnam vets; others were children or grandchildren.

Along with the part shown here, there are two other pieces to this memorial, shown here and here. If memory serves, neither was part of the original concept. The first statue was added a few years later after a pretty public discussion; the second was added even later (and perhaps within the last 10-15 years).

There is a larger version of this image here.

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Additional Photos by Roger Lipsett (rogerl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 190 W: 0 N: 298] (1632)
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