The Vietnam War left an indelible mark on the world. The battle claimed the lives of over 3,5 million people and changed the lives of billions of others. The course of history was forever altered in both positive and negative ways. In an effort to sustain the memory of the war and honor those who served, countless monuments have been erected across the country and the world. Federal, state, and local governments along with private individuals and nonprofit organizations are behind some of the most impressive Vietnam Memorials in the US and beyond.
One of America’s most well-recognized and highly regarded Vietnam memorials is fittingly located in the nation’s capital. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial features two massive black granite walls positioned in a two-acre park. The walls start off just 8 inches off the ground before meeting at a height of 10 feet. This gradual height increase is designed to symbolize a healing wound. The names of service members killed or missing in action are listed on the walls. It’s tradition for visitors to place a piece of paper over the name of a loved one and mark it with a pencil or pen to imprint the name on the paper as a memento.
The Canadian Vietnam Veterans Memorial, more colloquially known as The North Wall, is Canada’s most prominent Vietnam memorial. Located in Windsor, Ontario, the war memorial is intended to honor and remember Canadian soldiers who were killed in battle, taken prisoner, or declared missing. The impressive monument is designed with black granite, stands 11 feet tall, and weighs three tons. The monument sits in Assumption Park which is right next to Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor to Detroit, Michigan. Each year, Canadian and US officials host a ceremony with a laying of wreaths to honor those who have fallen in service.
The Wall of Faces is the virtual counterpart to the famous Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C. It’s intended to allow everyone no matter where they’re located to remember and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice without having to visit the physical monument in the nation’s capital. The Virtual Wall goes a step further than its physical cousin by connecting a photo to the list of over 58,000 names that adorn the wall. This provides an extra layer of humanity and intimacy to the experience while allowing loved ones to truly connect with their fallen family members and friends.
The Vietnam Forces National Memorial is Australia’s foremost memorial honoring and celebrating the sacrifices of all 50,000 Australian service members. It features three concrete angled walls standing in a shallow moat to create a walled-off center area for quiet contemplation. There’s a smaller stone block that’s designed as a seating area and a place to lay tributes in honor of those who served. There’s a halo suspended from the three walls with an intricate network of wiring. The memorial has a prominent place on Canberra’s iconic Anzac Promenade along with other war memorials.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire, New Mexico is a national memorial that was owned and managed by the state of New Mexico until 2017. The Peace and Brotherhood Chapel that resides in the park is thought to be the first memorial specifically dedicated to the Vietnam War. It was dedicated to the conflict in 1971. The church features a modern design that’s built into the surrounding landscape. In addition, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial features a UH-1D Huey helicopter that was actually flown in Vietnam and bricks with the names of soldiers inscribed on them.
If you’re interested in supporting the creation of a prominent Vietnam War memorial in Oregon in honor of this long tradition of remembrance, consider donating to the Oregon Capitol Vietnam Veterans Memorial by visiting www.OCVVM.com.