In 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington D.C. The memorial lists the names of around 58,000 Americans who lost their lives or went missing in the Vietnam War. “The memorial itself is dedicated to honor
the ‘courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country’ all of who answered the call to serve during the longest war in U.S history” (Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund). After the memorial wall was completed, another statue honoring the dead was unveiled in 1984.
The wall was viewed by some as a ‘giant tombstone’; people felt the need to create a statue which depicted the soldiers as heroic.
The wall’s first unveiling revealed the names of 57,939 names, however over the decades that number has been raised to 58,282. These names are a reminder for Americans each day that they walk past how devastating the Vietnam War was.