Sunday, November 13, 2011

This Day in History November 13, 1982

Some rights reserved by Bernt Rostad

Keeping with our Veteran's Day theme, I was so pleased to find another event to thank our wonderful veterans.  Some of you may have been lucky enough to see this Veteran's Day Memorial in Washington D.C.  I remember when it opened, but I did not realize that it was on this date in 1982 when it did open.

The designer of the memorial was Maya Lin, a Yale University Architecture student.  There was a nationwide contest, and this daughter of Chinese immigrants was the winner with her simple design.  Initially, many veteran's groups did not think that this memorial did enough to memorialize those who had given their lives in the Vietnam War.  It would seem that somewhere around 58,226 names are inscribed on this wall (not all sites agree on the exact number) of those who died in order of their death.  The 1,150 individuals who are still missing are at the end of the wall, and if they are ever found, there are symbols that will placed by their name depending on whether they are found dead or alive.

As time has gone on, this memorial has become one of the most visited war memorials.  As people find their relatives' and friends' names, it has become a tradition to put a little mark by the name and/or leave something at the memorial such as personal mementos, flags, flowers, and more.  Personal items that are left are carefully collected and categorized.

This is one of the memorials I would definitely want to visit if I ever make it to Washington D.C.  I am glad to know that in my lifetime, Vietnam veterans have become recognized and made to feel like real veterans.  I think it is horrible the way so many of them were treated when they returned from this terrible war, and I hope that no veteran is ever made to feel that way again.  No matter what, we as a nation are indebted to ever veteran who has ever served this country!  Freedom is not free!!

For more information, check out these informative links:


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