Vietnam Veterans Memorial Facts

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Facts
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial honors American armed forces members that fought in the Vietnam War. The memorial is a two acre national memorial unveiled in 1982, located in Washington, D.C., containing the names of more than 58,000 American soldiers killed in the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War began on November 1st, 1955, and lasted for 19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks, and 1 day, finally ending on April 30th, 1975. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial contains three sections: the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, the Vietnam Women's Memorial, and the Three Servicemen Memorial. The memorial honors soldiers, service members, and those that remain missing in action from the Vietnam War.
Interesting Vietnam Veterans Memorial Facts:
The VVMF (Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc.) became a non-profit organization in 1979 and raised money for the memorial.
Congress chose and authorized the site for the memorial, deciding on the site of a demolished WW1 munitions building near the Lincoln Memorial.
A contest was started to invite designs for the park with a cash prize of $50,000 to be awarded to the winner. The winner was Maya Lin, a 21-year old Yale University undergraduate, with entry number 1026. There were a total of 1,421 designs submitted to the contest.
Many people opposed Maya Lin's design but her design was built. Additional features were added to her wall design to enhance the memorial including a bronze sculpture of three soldiers.
Construction of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial began on March 26, 1982.
The wall for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was made of black granite from Bangalore, India, and the names of the veterans were typeset by Datalantic in Atlanta, Georgia. The typeset stone was then shipped to Memphis, Tennessee, where the names were permanently etched into it.
There were 57,939 names original names etched into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall.
On November 13th, 1982 thousands of Vietnam Veterans participated in a march that ended at the memorial. The memorial was then officially dedicated.
The first American to die during the Vietnam War was United States Air Force Technical Sergeant Richard Bernard Fitzgibbon, Jr., however he was murdered by another American. His name wasn't added to the memorial until 1999.
The first two names on the Vietnam Veterans memorial wall are Dale R. Buis and Chester M. Ovnand, who were killed at Bien Hoa by Vietcong guerrillas. They had been watching a movie in the mess hall at the time.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was completely funded by veterans, individuals, corporations and other organizations. It was not built with federal government money.
Since Veterans Day in 1996 a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial has been displayed in more than 400 locations in the U.S.
The third place winner of the design contest was Frederick Hart. He was asked to complete his sculpture of three soldiers, called 'The Three Servicemen'. It was added to the memorial in 1984.
The Women's Memorial was designed by Glenna Goodacre and dedicated on November 11th, 1993. It honors the women who served in the Vietnam War, most of them nurses.
Names continue to be added to the memorial. In order for them to be added the soldier must meet criteria determined by the U.S. Department of Defense.


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