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Two things that I found very striking about this memorial: First the sheer number of names engraved in the wall. It makes one think of the number of people who gave their all in that effort. The second thing is that there are constantly people at the wall leaving gifts, making rubbings, or simply touching the name of someone that they know.over 5 years ago
I went to the Vietnam war Memorial last night.
Many war monuments celebrate how awesome we are and how great our victory was. Like some sort of celebration of the horrors of war.
Not this one.
It makes the death individual and unique, and thus all the more horrible and wasteful. It sits quietly in the Mall, where it draws you down into it. And, sad to say, it’s much bigger than I had pictured it in my mind. I went at night and the lighting on the memorial, which my camera couldn’t capture, made it so heavy and grave. I nearly cried. It deabstractifies (I heard the president say that) the death caused by war. It was quite powerful.over 5 years ago
The span is enormous. The wall shows the true cost of war. Tiny mometos were placed all along the wall; mostly flowers and photos. People were crying most everywhere. Some people ran their fingers over the engraved names as they spoke or wept.I began to read the names on the wall. Row by row I read. Then I began to skip around, until finally I was too overwhelmed to read any longer.
I’ve also been to the traveling wall. While also powerful, it is not nearly the size of the wall in D.C. It is also worth visiting.
To me, the great irony of the wall is the beautiful layout of the structure. The water flowing, the reflective granite, trees surrounding the clearing. I guess that is the irony of all memorials; beauty to commemorate the horrors or war, surrounding all the sadness and tears of memories. over 6 years ago
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