Web Site: http://www.womensmemorial.org/
After watching the film "The Deer Hunter" in 1979, Vietnam Veteran Jan C. Scruggs first conceived of the idea for a Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A Yale architectural student, Maya Lin, submitted the winning design.
The Memorial was built in Constitution Gardens in Washington, D.C., through private donations from the public, and dedicated in 1982.
The Memorial is referred to as "The Wall."
If you are interested in the dates for panel numbers, read:
"The Last Firebase: A Guide to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial"
By Lydia Fish
Shippensburg, PA : White Mane Pub. Co., 1987
The Memorial is a piece of stone finished in a "plaque" style and etched with the following words:
THE VIET-NAM ERA VETERANS
We Are Honored To Remember You
The Indigenous People of America
The stone was ceremonially placed in Arlington Cemetery. One of the Indian Vietnam veterans, who was highly instrumental in spearheading the project to get the monument done and in place, is a man named Richard J. "Red Bear" Baker (Isleta Pueblo tribe), former Marine.
Diane Carlson Evans, RN, is the founder of this Memorial project. She served in the Army Nurse Corps from 1966 to 1972 and was in Vietnam in 1968-69.
The sculptor is Glenna Goodacre, who created the Women's Memorial in bronze.
The Memorial was dedicated over the Veterans Day weekend of November 10-12, 1993, and stands near "The Wall."
The Vietnam Women's Memorial Project holds the copyright to the Vietnam Women's Memorial sculpture. Glenna Goodacre signed her rights over to the Project. Sheldon Smith is the VWMP Executive Director.
I think that Palmer's book will be especially useful because the author successfully located people who had left mementoes at the Wall and interviewed them. The interviews have become capsulized oral histories that illustrate effectively the healing effects of the Wall on specific individuals.
These books should be available in your college or public library. If not, give the citations to a librarian and ask that they be obtained for you on Interlibrary Loan.
Items left at The Wall are collected and sent to MARS (Museum & Archeological Storage) where they are cataloged and stored. Currently, there are a small number of items on display in two musuem exhibits.
MARS is not open to the public; and, due to the overwhelming number of items left since before the dedication and their limited staff, it may be difficult to get a response to any queries.
However, here is the address to write:
The National Park Service Museum Center has a beautiful Web Page about articles left at The Wall:
A: For the American Flag to be flown at half staff, other than Memorial Day, a presidential executive order is required.
Chair, National POW/MIA Committee
Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.
These are the approximate numbers of American casualties by branch of service during the Vietnam War:
- USA 38,215
- USMC 14,836
- USAAF 2,583
- USN 2,557
- USCG 7
The USAF casualty affairs office is available over The Web at: