The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, dedicated in 1982, is the most visited monument in the city and also the one that drew the most controversy. Its architect, Maya Ying Lin, a Chinese-American Yale student, won the design contest sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Fund, which raised money for the memorial. Many criticized the design for being too dark and dolorous. However the Fine Arts Commission allowed the building to proceed and the Wall, as it has become known, was dedicated in 1982. To temper some of the criticism the memorial received, a sculpture of three servicemen, designed by Frederick E. Hart, was installed just south of the memorial in 1984.
Hundreds of thousands of people visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial each year, making it the most heavily visited monument in the city. Friends, family, and plain tourists visit the memorial to look at the 50,000 or so names (listed chronologically in the order of death) etched on the black granite wall. Tokens of love, in the form of photographs, letters, and flowers, are often left behind bearing the name of a lost loved one.
More information on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial can be found on The Wall Homepage and the National Park Service's Vietnam Veterans Homepage and Virtual Visitors' Center.
Korean War Veteran's Memorial
Places in the West Mall