official name of the Memorial is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
It is sometimes referred to as "the Wall". The figures are
called "The Three Servicemen". This is not a war memorial but a
memorial to those who served in the war, both living and dead.
|Each of the
walls is 246.75 feet long, composed of 70 separate inscribed
granite panels, plus 4 at the end without names; the panels
themselves are 40 inches in width; the largest panels have 137
lines of names, while the shortest have one; there are five
names on each line, although with new additions of names, some
lines now have six; the walls are supported by 140 concrete
pilings driven approximately 35 feet (some are at 20 feet) to
bedrock; at the vertex the walls are 10.1 feet in height.
Memorial (wall) was designed by an undergraduate at Yale
University, Maya Ying Lin, born in Athens, Ohio in 1959. Her
parents fled from China in 1949 when Mao-Tse-tung took control
of China, and she is a native-born American citizen. She acted
as a consultant with the architectural firm of Cooper- Lecky
Partnership on the construction of the Memorial.
|She wanted 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 (polished black
granite) 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, to the west, thus bring the
Vietnam Veterans Memorial into a historical context.