Unique Design Of The Vietnam War Memorial

826 words - 3 pages

Unique Design of the Vietnam War Memorial

At the age of twenty one, a female undergraduate at Yale University named
Maya Lin submitted her design for the Vietnam Memorial. Her idea for the
memorial was extremely unique and controversial. After long discussions by
a panel, it was chosen for construction. The design that she submitted was
one that was very different in comparison to other memorials, and it was
one that has a tendency to leave a lot of questions on the minds of the
visitors. On the face of the memorial there is a list of all those who
died or are missing in the order by which they were lost. It could seem
to some one who did not understand the incident that the monument honors
only those lost, but that is incorrect. Maya Lin¹s design formed into the
most unique memorial structure of its kind, which honors all who served in
the Vietnam War (Colliers 23: 137).

The official name given to the monument was the Vietnam Veterans memorial.
In this name alone it is clear that it was not erected for the sole
purpose of honoring only those who were lost in the conflict. The term KIA
was the abbreviation used for those people who were killed in action, and
these people represent 47,000 of the 58,000 names on the wall. The other
11,000 were soldiers who died from crashes, snake bites, illnesses, and
other non-combat related deaths (Olson 227). There is no distinction made
between the two groups on the monument. The structure is a v-shaped
polished granite slab that unlike other monuments has no message of honor
or patriotism. All of those subjects are left to the thoughts of the
beholder. People often find therapy in locating the name of a companion or
a loved one. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is by far the most emotional
moving war monument in Washington, and that alone makes it very
unique(Collier¹s 138).

In comparison with other monuments, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is
vastly different. A point of comparison could be the Marine Corps War
Memorial, otherwise known as the Iwo Jima monument. This monument is a
sculpture of three soldiers risking their lives to keep the American flag
flying. The structure has a deep sense of understood patriotism and there
is a great deal of honor that is also associated with it. Unlike the
Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Iwo Jima monument is a tribute only to
the Marines who served in World War Two. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial has
no such message of honor and courage, but rather an atmosphere...

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