Washington DC, USA
We doubt that anyone can walk away from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial without being affected in some way or another. I’ve come out of museums bawling and depressed before. But for a monument, the Vietnam Veteran Memorial could possibly the most depressing monument I’ve ever been to. There has been no other monument that has this effect on us before.
This DC’s memorial is not how one would describe as imposing. It’s quite the opposite really. It’s low-key and as far as monuments go, it’s kind of small. It consists of 2 black marble walls forming an angle, located on a sunken area such as the top of the walls are level with the ground. As you walk down the ramp that takes you to the base of the wall you notice that walls are engraved with names. Barely an inch high.
There are no pictures. No explanatory placards. But those are not needed.
It’s the endless rows of names that get you. As you walk along the wall, you realise that the walls are taller and longer than they first appeared. And each panel is covered with names. Covered.
You trace your finger over these lines of names and you start wondering what kind of stories went down with them on the battlefield and will forever remain untold. Stories about broken promises, mom’s casseroles, or maybe the smell of a girl’s perfume. Stories about childhood dreams and childhood pets left behind.
Each one of these guys might have uttered at one point, “When I get back…”
So many names.
Seriously, it got to us.