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Published On: Thu, Nov 13th, 2014

This Day In History: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Dedicated in 1982

In 1982 a Memorial was built with over 58,000 names of the men and women who lost their lives serving in the Vietnam War (1959-1975). The Memorial features the ‘The Three Servicemen’ statue and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.

Names of Vietnam veterans at Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.  photo Hu Totya via wikipedia

Names of Vietnam veterans at Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
photo Hu Totya via wikipedia

‘The Three Servicemen’ statue was built to bestow compromise in those who believed the memorial lacked patriotism and honor when compared to other memorials. The primary objections came from Vietnam veterans which divided America when unity was needed most.

Opened twenty-four hours a day, the Vietnam Memorial is a great way for us to remember all the people who sacrificed so much in order to protect our country during a time of turmoil and division.

From History.com: The designer of the memorial was Maya Lin, a Yale University architecture student who entered a nationwide competition to create a design for the monument. Lin, born in Ohio in 1959, was the daughter of Chinese immigrants. Many veterans’ groups were opposed to Lin’s winning design, which lacked a standard memorial’s heroic statues and stirring words. However, a remarkable shift in public opinion occurred in the months after the memorial’s dedication. Veterans and families of the dead walked the black reflective wall, seeking the names of their loved ones killed in the conflict. Once the name was located, visitors often made an etching or left a private offering, from notes and flowers to dog tags and cans of beer.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial soon became one of the most visited memorials in the nation’s capital. A Smithsonian Institution director called it “a community of feelings, almost a sacred precinct,” and a veteran declared that “it’s the parade we never got.” “The Wall” drew together both those who fought and those who marched against the war and served to promote national healing a decade after the divisive conflict’s end.

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