Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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DC Trip 2023

Washington, DC possesses the largest concentration of National Park Service units of any metropolitan area. I decided to use one of my long weekends in April to visit DC and check a few units off my list. I toured several memorials, monuments and other sites, including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The National Mall

The National Mall stretches from the Capitol to the Potomac River. It serves as “America’s Front Lawn” and its premiere civic and symbolic space. Originally in the L’Enfant plan for the city, the National Mall and Memorial Parks unit of the NPS protects iconic monuments and memorials and over 1,000 acres of greenspace. From the reflecting pool , I veered off towards the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

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. The reflective surface portrays the past (the engraved names) and the present (the reflection of those looking at them) simultaneously.

The Three Servicemen stands opposite the wall. This bronze statue depicts three soldiers who appear to gaze at the wall in tribute to their fallen brothers.

In 1993, the National Park Service added the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. Over 265,000 women served in the conflict as nurses, communication specialists and in other support roles. The bronze statue depicts three women in uniform helping a fallen soldier. Eight trees planted around the memorial represent the eight female military who died in Vietnam. Their names are also on the wall.

2023 DC Trip Posts

Location: 5 Henry Bacon Dr NW, Washington, DC
Designation: National Memorial
Date designated/established: November 13, 1982
Date of my visit: April 6, 2023