The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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  • Topic: Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Maya Lin, National Mall
  • Pages : 3 (1151 words )
  • Download(s) : 93
  • Published : May 28, 2008
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The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a national war memorial located in Washington, D.C. that honors members of the U.S. armed forces who served in the Vietnam War. The Memorial consists of three separate parts — the Three Soldiers statue, the Vietnam Women's Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, which is the most recognized part of the memorial. The main part of the memorial was completed in 1982 and is located in Constitution Gardens on the National Mall, just northeast of the Lincoln Memorial. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is maintained by the U.S. National Park Service, and receives around 3 million visitors each year. The first official attempt to memorialize veterans of the Vietnam War came in 1978, three years after the conflict had ended. The Pentagon, instead of adding two unidentified bodies of Vietnam veterans to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, recommended that a display of medals be added behind the tomb with a plaque reading: "Let all know that the United States of America pays tribute to the members of the Armed Forces who answered their country's call." A Veterans Affairs subcommittee later changed the statement to read: "Let all know that the United States of America pays tribute to the members of the Armed Forces who served honorably in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam Era." Later, in 1978, Congress, prodded by the Vietnam-Era Caucus (composed of veteran Congressmen), discussed creating a "Vietnam Veterans Week" to honor the survivors of the war. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc., was incorporated on April 27, 1979 as a non-profit organization to establish a memorial to veterans of the Vietnam War. Much of the impetus behind the formation of the Fund came from a wounded Vietnam veteran, Jan Scruggs, who was inspired by the film The Deer-hunter. Eventually, $8.4 million was raised by private donations. Congress authorized the site on July 1, 1980, and a competition to design the memorial was announced later that year. On...
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