Vietnam Veterans National Memorial


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It’s been over ten years since we spent a day touring the many monuments and memorials in Washington DC while on a road trip to visit family in South Carolina. We’d purchased tickets on a hop on and off bus, after stopping at the Lincoln Memorial, we walked over to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial honors those who served in the armed forces, died fighting or went MIA during the Vietnam War. The main section is the Memorial Wall which was completed in 1982. It is inscribed with over 58 thousand names on 144 granite panels.

There is a hushed and somber feeling as you as you follow the path past the wall. The reflective surface was designed to portray the past (the engraved names) and the present (the reflection of those looking at them) simultaneously. There was a veteran on hand helping visitors find names and make rubbings. Some left flowers behind.


Nearby is a bronze statue named The Three Servicemen depicting three soldiers who appear to gaze at the wall in tribute to their fallen brothers.

Location: 5 Henry Bacon Dr NW, Washington, DC 20245

Designation: National Memorial

Date designation declared: 11/13/1982

Date of my visit: November 7, 2007


14 thoughts on “Vietnam Veterans National Memorial

  1. This is one of the most moving memorials I’ve ever been to. Probably has to do with my age as I was a teenager during the last years of the Vietnam War and was concerned about being drafted. Still find walking along that wall to be chilling.

  2. There was quite a bit of controversey when it was built, but soon all parties agreed the whole memorial [especially after the nurses were added] was a success. Anyone who was “in country” would tell you the sculptor of the three soldiers did a remarkable job down to the smallest details of what they were wearing and carrying including the towell around the one soldier’s neck.

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  4. Julie Dodd

    Such an overwhelming sense of loss, with row after row of names. On each of my three visits to the memorial, someone was doing a name rubbing, using special paper and charcoal provided by a guide at the memorial.

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