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Photographer's Note

This past weekend marks the fall of Saigon in 1975, and an end to a war where more than 58,000 americans and countless vietnamese lost their lives.
For me the Vietnam Veterens War Memorial in Washington DC is the most poignant memorial. I have visited on many occasions and always find it so moving.
Maybe its a war of my time, maybe it suddens me as we do not seem to have learnt that much from history, maybe........

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.
One end of the wall points to the Washington Monument (seen her ein the reflection) while the other points to the nearby Lincoln Memorial.
A national competition for the design of the memorial was undertaken.
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 more than 58,000 men and women who were killed in the Vietnam War or who are still missing in action. 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.

Paolo, speedyturtle, cyril, scallywagin, christina, sidearm has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Elaine springford (everlasting) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 779 W: 66 N: 1983] (14333)
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