Results 1-9of 9 Reviews
West Virginia, West Virginia
August 1, 2010
From journal Washington's National Mall
October 8, 2009
From journal Our Nation's Capital
by Taylor Shelby
Charleston, South Carolina
December 7, 2005
The wall is shockingly moving. When you look at it from afar, it doesn't look very big and impressive, but as you walk down the path that leads you farther and farther into the memorial, it starts to overwhelm you. The wall is made up of graduating slabs of polished black marble with the names of the 58,000 men and women who lost their lives in the Vietnam war. The first slabs you walk by are only inches off the ground but as you get to the heart of the memorial (and the center of a giant 'V') the slabs are easily eight or nine feet high. And they are packed with names. Thousands and thousands of names. I don't think it is actually possible to conceive how many 58,000 is until you are standing in front of it. Reading the names that are surrounding you, causing your eyes to blur and you heart to tear in half, it's stunning. I called my father, a Vietnam veteran, and told him I loved him.
The most remarkable thing happened that afternoon. We reached the memorial right after sunset. The black stone had been sitting in the sun all day and after it went down, it was releasing the heat it had stored up. It was a bitterly cold day, but around that memorial it was much warmer. The stone itself was about 85 degrees. We all warmed our hands and pressed our faces against the stone. I know it sounds weird, but I felt such a connection to that monument. It was almost magical, in an incredibly sad way.
Even if you don't care at all about seeing this, you should. It is impossible to describe. The memorial is located on the mall, just to the right of the Lincoln memorial. Go see it. I can assure you it will be memorable.
From journal Four exhausted girls spend a weekend in DC
May 29, 2007
From journal Business Trip to Washington D.C.
December 17, 2001
It was perhaps inevitable that the memorial to the dead and missing soldiers in this most contentious
and criticized of American wars should have been nearly as controversial during its design, construction, and the
first year or two after its dedication as the war that it commemorates. The simplicity of the design, the absence
of romantic, vainglorious statuary and paeans to heroic deeds -- so often part and parcel of such monuments --
are utterly absent. Except for a trio of splendid bronzes depicting the common soldiers involved that were added
later as a kind of afterthought as a sop to those who disliked the principal elements of the monument, it is but
a simple marble wall built into a gash in the earth like a bandage used to staunch blood from an open wound. On
this polished stone are etched the names of each soldier and officer, more than 58,000 of them, who died in action
or were -- or are still -- missing in action. Significantly, the names are listed in the chronological order of
their deaths or disappearances.
A visit to the memorial is a moving experience, much more so than I ever expected. We approached from the direction
of the Lincoln Memorial on a cool and very misty, dreary morning. The wall sort of sneaks up on you, seemingly
growing out of the earth just a few inches high. Almost at ground level is the first name, a soldier who died in
1963. As you walk along beside the wall, it gradually and inexorably grows taller and taller until it's over 10
feet up to its top. And each block of marble is covered with names and more names of the fallen. Very soon you
feel the need-- at least I did -- to run your fingers over the names, for this monument speaks with an intimacy
I've rarely experienced. Most war memorials dwarf you with their grandiosity; this one mesmerizes you with its
quiet, almost introverted dignity.
One of the purposes of our visit was to look for the name of a brother of a college friend of my wife's. We were
only vaguely aware that it might be possible; however, it turned out to be very simple, for conveniently located
at the beginning and end of the wall are little enclosed "desks" with indexes listing each and every
name, their origins, and their units, thereby enabling the visitor to look up the name of someone they knew who
fell. The indexing system is very well thought out and the explanation is very clear, so we were able to find the
name. We won't soon forget the experience.
From journal Washington, D.C., an American Anomaly
January 9, 2007
From journal The Nation's Capitol on a Budget
July 2, 2005
A statue of three soldiers is set into the space behind the "V" on grass. They appear to be looking at the memorial. Close by, in a grove of trees, is a memorial to the nurses who also served. The tributes left by family members and fellow soldiers are touching. Periodically, they are picked up by the NPS and stored. We later saw some of the more remarkable ones (a violin and a Medal of Honor award in the National Museum of American History). There is no "bad" time to visit, but do know though that going during twilight, before the lights come on, makes seeing the names on the black granite a bit harder.
From journal An Eight-Day Vacation in Washington, D.C.
Charlotte, North Carolina
January 13, 2005
Many people still remember this war, so emotions run high here. I found myself crying the whole time. People walk quietly and slowly, talk in whispers, point, and search for the names of loved ones whose names are on the wall. Many people still leave gifts in honor of those fallen. You can still find many Vietnam vets here remembering a time that should have never been. Overall, it is one of the most powerful and hardest places to visit. No one should visit DC without a stop here.
From journal Summer fun in D.C.
Little Rock,, Arkansas
July 23, 2001
Eleven years later, the Vietnam Women's Memorial was added nearby. Two uniformed womaen are caring for a wounded male soldier in a sculpted piece that portrays the agony coupled with the compassion war brings. Glenna Goodacre was the sculptor, and the victim, tossed on a heap of bags, features the horrors of war.
From journal Let's Lobby Washington