Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Conduct interviews and background research and write a magazine article about the human and political impact of the memorial.

You pass the first panel, a single line of four men killed in May, 1968. Guys from Colorado, New York, Texas, and Virginia. The second panel, three lines with fourteen names. Six lines and twenty-nine names. Eight lines of thirty-nine names. As you walk from one panel to the next the lists come thick and fast, the names a blur. Soon the panels are waist high, head high, then higher than you can reach.

The Vietnam Memorial Wall "Names Would Become the Memorial"
Maya Ying Linn conceived her design as creating a park within a park -- a quiet protected place unto itself, yet harmonious with the site. To achieve this effect she chose polished black granite for the walls. Its mirror like surface reflects the surrounding trees, lawns, monuments, and the people looking for names. The memorial's walls point to the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. The 58,191 names are inscribed in chronological order of the date of the casualty, showing that there was as a series of individual human sacrifices and giving each name a special place in history. "The names would become the memorial," Lin said. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., memorializes the war’s 58,226 fallen or missing service members. The very day the memorial was dedicated another quality was discovered. People began to touch it. It was a physical, spiritual compulsion. Some touch it with their fingertips. Some lean into it with their fists. Some sweep their hands across it, as if stroking a horse's neck. Some visitors seem to embrace it. Larry Heinemann © 1996

Some Facts About the Memorial

The walls are 246.75 feet long and the angle of the vertex is 125 degrees 12 minutes. There are 140 pilings with the average depth to bedrock being 35 feet. The height of the walls at the vertex is 10.1 feet. The granite comes from Ban galore, India; it was cut and fabricated at Barre, Vermont. The names were grit-blasted in Memphis, Tennessee, with the height of the individual letters being 0.53 inch and the depth, 0.038 inch.

Two symbols: a Diamond or a Cross The names begin at the vertex of the walls below the date of the first casualty and continue to the end of the east wall. They resume at the tip of the west wall, ending at the vertex, above the date of the last death. With the meeting of the beginning and the ending, a major epoch in American history is denoted. Each name is preceded on the west wall or followed on the east wall by one of two symbols: a diamond or a cross. The diamond denotes that the individual's death was confirmed. The approximately 1,150 persons whose names are designated by the cross were either missing or prisoners at the end of the war and remain missing and unaccounted for. If a person returns alive, a circle, as a symbol of life, will be inscribed around the cross. In the event an individual's remains are returned or is otherwise accounted for, the diamond will be superimposed over the cross.

Characteristics of the Vietnam War
The average age of a solder was 19. (The average age in WWII was 26.) In the Vietnam War, many went to college to avoid going to war. Soldiers served a tour of duty of 12 months in country rather than for the length of the war. Many soldiers felt a lack of support for their efforts from the general population. The United States involvement in the war was controversial and sparked violent protests. No war since the Civil War caused such a rift in U.S. public opinion, leading to social unrest and violence. The war was fought in a country whose history, culture, religions, and values were known or understood by the troops and the general population. Congress never declared war against Vietnam. It was called a Conflict. The war's goal was unclear; there was never clear indication that America would do whatever was necessary to win. The officers in charge were often inexperienced. There were no clear combat zones; there was no front. In combat, there was no safety in the rear, as there was no rear area in Vietnam. Territory was taken, lost, and taken repeatedly. Vietnam was the first war the United States was in that was filmed daily and shown nightly on the six o’clock news. We learned what a body count meant. United States Citizens watch the war and saw their young men and women die on the evening news while eating their evening meal at the supper table.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Page is dedicated to honoring those who died in the Vietnam

"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind." Major Michael O'Donnell KIA March 24, 1970 - Dak To, Vietnam

Vietnam Yesterday & Today Tips for Students doing a paper on Vietnam http://

Marble Mountain was one of five mountains located south of Da Nang that stretched from the coast inland or westward. http://www.

Teach Vietnam

Echoes From The Wall The Fall of Saigon

The Vietnam Children’s Fund
“The project is an inspiring example of how people of goodwill can turn violence and tragedy into a cause for hope.” David Broder, The Washington Post Vets With A Mission is doing something constructive to help a people with whom we have shared so much suffering in common.

Vietnam Children’s Fund

Charles John Snyder
Drafted: Thursday, February 1, 1968
For my friend Charlie Charles J. Snyder
FC - E3 - Army - Selective Service 1st Cavalry Division (AMBL) 20 year old Single, Caucasian, Male Born on Mar 27, 1948 From ASTORIA, NEW YORK His tour of duty began on Jul 04, 1968 Casualty was on Aug 27, 1968 in THUA THIEN, SOUTH VIETNAM Non-Hostile, died of illness/injury GROUND CASUALTY ACCIDENTAL SELF-DESTRUCTION Body was recovered Religion ROMAN CATHOLIC Panel 46W - - Line 45

"You touch a name and the pain comes out."

Joseph Peter Fanning For my childhood friend Joe. You will always be remembered! Major - O4 - Air Force - Reserve 35 year old Married, Caucasian, Male Born on Jun 25, 1944 From 35th Street & 23rd Avenue LONG ISLAND CITY, NEW YORK His tour of duty began on Dec 13, 1968 He served as a 1051A in the Air force, 606 SOP SQ 56 SP OPWG Casualty was on Jul 25, 1979 LAOS Hostile, died while missing FIXED WING - CREW AIR LOSS, CRASH ON LAND Body was not recovered JOSEPH PETER FANNING is listed as Missing in Action. Religion ROMAN CATHOLIC Panel 36W - - Line 15