Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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Photo: Hu Totya

Location: Washington, D.C., USA

Who Considers it Sacred? United States military veterans and families who lost relatives during the Vietnam War.

Significance: It memorializes United States war veterans of the Vietnam War, and is considered a place of pilgrimage for families of those lost in the war and surviving veterans. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, made from black granite by Chinese-American architect Maya Lin, sits at the nation’s capital at Washington, D.C., between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. It commemorates the thousands of Americans who died in the Vietnam War.

After fighting the communist North Vietnam, France abandoned its former Southwest Asian colony. The United States then took up the war, as a proxy war against communist China, who supported North Vietnam. During the 1960s and 1970s, American President Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon lost public support for the war, as the nightly news displayed the return of coffins containing the remains of thousands of American soldiers. When the last American troops finally left South Vietnam in the mid-1970s, Vietnam was unified under the Communists. Subsequently, a huge number of Vietnamese emigrated to America, many of them settling in California, where their communities have thrived.

Status: The site is curated and archived because of the numerous objects left by visitors over the years. This includes medals of valor, photographs, letters, flowers, stuffed animals and other objects.

For More Information: Site Saver Newsletter Volume VI, Number 1, Fall 1995

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