US War Memorials - Washington DC
The Viet Nam Veterans Memorial
"IN HONOUR OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE ARMED FORCES OF
THE UNITED STATES WHO SERVED IN THE VIETNAM WAR.
THE NAMES OF THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES AND OF WHOSE WHO
REMAIN MISSING ARE INSCRIBED IN THE ORDER THEY WERE TAKEN FROM US"
The Viet Nam Veterans Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial honors the men and women who served in the Vietnam War. Its main monument, known as 'The Wall' is the most visited memorial in Washington. The V-shaped wall is located in the Constitution Gardens. One end of the wall points to the Washington Monument while the other points to the nearby Lincoln Memorial.
The construction of a memorial was approved by Congress in 1980 as a result of campaigns by Vietnam Veterans. The project was financed privately; the necessary funds were collected by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. They announced a national competition for the design of the memorial. One of the 1421 entries in the competition was submitted by Maya Ying Lin, a 20 year old student at Yale University. Her design was the result of an earlier class assignment. She only received a B grade on the assignment, but a jury of architects and sculptors unanimously selected her design. Lin's design was very simple: two black triangular granite walls are sunk into the ground at an angle of 125 degrees. Each wall is 250ft or 76m long. Both walls start at a height of 8 inches (20cm) and meet at their highest point where the walls are 10ft (3m) high. Inscribed in the wall are the names of 58,256 men and women who were killed in the Vietnam War or who are still missing in action. A diamond next to the name indicates the person was killed, a cross indicates the person is missing. If a body is identified, the cross is circled.
The austere design of the memorial, a scar in the earth, was controversial. Some Vietnam Veterans opposed the design which lacked statues or an American flag. To silence the critics, a group of statues was erected near the Vietnam memorial in 1984, two years after the wall was dedicated. Over time, people started to better understand the powerful image of the wall. The cleavage in the earth symbolizes the country divided over the Vietnam War, while the seemingly endless list of names visualizes the many sacrifices that were made better than any traditional monument could have done.In 1993 another sculpture, depicting three women and a wounded soldier, was added to the Vietnam Memorial. It honors the women who served in the Vietnam War.
(All pictures by EAF51_Bear)
The Wall is reflecting the figures of the live people against the names of those
who lost their lives embroided in the black marble.
A live memory
Every day, on the same day of the death of their relatives, many years later, parents are still visiting The Wall, leaving letters and pictures.Every day family members and friends leave mementos and tokens of remembance at the memorial, making them as much as legacy of the Vietnam years as the memorial itself.
Rubbing from the wall the name of a MIA soldier
Each name is preceeded on the west wall or followed on the east wall by a symbol: a diamond or a cross. The diamond denotes that the individual's death was confirmed. The nearly 1.000 people whose names are designed by a cross were either MIA (Missing In Action) or still POW (Prisonier of War) at the end of the war and remain missing and unaccounted for. If a person returns alive, a circle as a symbol of life, will be inscribed around the cross. In the event that individula's remains are returned or are otherwise, the diamond will be superimposed over the cross.
The Vietnam Veteran Monument
Sculptor Frederick Hart's goal, as author of the monumen, was to create a moving evocation of the experience and the service of the Vietnam veteran. He has described it: " They wear it on their uniform and carry the equipment of war. They are young. The contrast between the innocence of their youth and the weapons of war underscores the poignancy of their sacrifice that is the nature of men at war... Their strenght and their vulnerability are both evident"
Volunteers cleaning the base of the flag pole
The flag flies from 60-foot staff. The base contains emblems of the five services. In the memory plaque, dedicated in 2004, is located within the northeast corner of the three servicemen statue. The plaque honors the men and the women who served in Vietnam and later died for causes related to war. They are rememberd for their sacrifice.
The Vietnam Women's Monument
As part of the Vietnam War Memorial, the Vietnam Women's Memorial honors the women of the US Armed Forces who took part in the war. The statue depicts three women coming to the aid of a fallen soldier, It recalls the courage and sacrifice of all the women who served. Plated around the memorial are eight yellow trees, a living tribute to the eight servicewomen killed in action while in Vietnam.
DUE GIORNI DOPO (Tempesta di neve)
TWO DAYS LATER (SNOW STORM)