Saturday, October 23, 2010

In Tribute

Vietnam Veterans Memorial is the most emotional of the monuments on the National Mall. It might be because this monument honors the most recent conflict compared to the other ones which honor older veterans from World War II and Korean War. The main element of this memorial is the reflective wall with the 58,175 names of military service members lost during the conflict. The wall is made of two black granite walls in which you can see your reflection as you read the names of the men and women who gave their lives during the Vietnam War. Maya Lin, the memorial's architect, wanted the monument to be a personal experience. By seeing your own image among the names, visitors can get a sense that they are not unlike those people on the wall. Like you, those on the wall was someone's child, parent, spouse and/or friend.

Visitors often leave personal tokens and mementos at the wall, like the United States Army 199th Infantry Brigade patch in this photo. Left-behind letters are always difficult to read without crying. If you are unable to visit the memorial on the National Mall, find out when The Moving Wall -- a traveling replica of Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall -- is coming to your area. It's worth visiting and sharing with your family. Just remember to bring tissues.

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