Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall
Monuments & Memorials
900 Ohio Drive SW
Washington, DC 20242
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was founded by Jan Scruggs, who served in Vietnam as an infantry corporal. He wanted a memorial to acknowledge and recognize the service and sacrifice of all who served in Vietnam. The criteria for the design of the memorial included that a) it be reflective and contemplative in character, b) harmonize with its surroundings, c) contain the names of those who died in the conflict or who were still missing and d) make no political statement about the war.
The Memorial was designed by Maya Ying Lin who desired to create a park within a park– a quiet protected place onto itself, yet harmonious with the overall plan of Constitution Gardens. The walls have a mirror-like surface reflecting the images of the surrounding trees, lawns, monuments and visitors. The walls seem to stretch into the distance, directing us towards the Washington Monument, in the east, and the Lincoln Memorial in the west, thus bringing the Vietnam Veterans into a historical context.
With the addition of six names in 2010, there are a total of 58,272 names listed on the Memorial. Approximately 1200 of these are listed as missing (MIA’s, POW’s or others).