Vietnam War memorial

Vietnam Veterans Memorial at night
Canon PowerShot S95

I’m not easily moved by memorials, but the Vietnam Veterans Memorial brought me to tears the first time I saw it.

That was on my first visit to Washington, DC, in 1993. I was small when the Vietnam conflict ended. My main memories of it are the news bulletins that kept interrupting Captain Kangaroo, telling of cease fires as the conflict sputtered to its end. I hadn’t even a vague idea of how this war split our country. I didn’t learn of it until middle-school history class, and by then it was 1980.

But to see the names, in excess of 58,000 — it brought directly home to me what an enormous loss this conflict created in our country.

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single frame: Vietnam Veterans Memorial at night