5 Lesser Known Facts on The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in DC

5 Facts on The Vietnam Veterans Memorial You Need

With more than 4 million visitors each year, the Veterans Memorial is a tribute to those who fought in Vietnam. Here are 5 lesser known facts you need.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, located in Washington D.C., was revealed on November 13, 1982. The monument is a one-of-a-kind commemoration to those we’ve lost.

The memorial includes the names of more than 58,000 U.S. soldiers who perished during the Vietnam War.

At the memorial, you won’t find patriotic or heroic symbols. There are no flowing flags or bald eagles.

Instead, you’ll find a somber memorial that is simplistic yet striking. The black granite is a stark contrast to the commonly found white marble statues. The aura surrounding the memorial is quiet and reflective.

Are you one of the 3 million people who visits the memorial each year? Do you think you know everything there is to know about the memorial?

We’re here to shock you! Here are five lesser known facts about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

#1. Personally Funded

Unlike most memorials, no government funds were used to build the memorial.

The idea of the memorial came from Jan C. Scruggs, a wounded Vietnam Vet. In 1979, Jan used $2,800 of his money to create a fund for the memorial.

Legislation was passed to remove existing structures to make room for the memorial. Eventually, the fund raised more than $8.4 million.

View this video of Fallen Never Forgotten’s Author Ronny Ymbras meeting with Jan Scruggs on Memorial Day 2016

#2. Designed by a College Student

The fund decided that the Veterans Memorial must:

  • Contain all names of Americans who died or remained missing in action during Vietnam
  • Make no political statement
  • Be contemplative
  • Harmonize with surrounding structures

With those guidelines, the fund opened a design contest.

More than 1,400 memorial designs were submitted. The winning design was anonymously submitted by a 21-year-old college student at Yale University.

The winner, Maya Lin, has designed other notable memorials, including the Civil Rights Memorial.

3. The Design is Intricate

The Veterans Memorial is not as simple as it looks.

The memorial contains two walls, both of which are 246.75 feet long and 10.1 feet high. Together the walls form a 125-degree angle.

The western wall points towards the Lincoln Memorial. The eastern wall points towards the Washington Monument. The walls are made from black granite.

#4. The Details Are in the Names

Each name on the memorial has a diamond or a cross. A diamond represents that the military member died in action. A cross determines that the person is still missing in action.

#5. Names are Continuously Added

When the memorial was first created, it included the names of 57,939 American military members. Almost three decades later, the number of names has jumped to 58,318 as of 2017.

Names can only be added to the memorial when it’s been determined that a veteran died because of the war. Criteria mandates that postwar casualities are honored with a plaque versus an inscription on the memorial.

Everything You Need to Know About Vietnam Veteran Memorials

Want to learn more about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in DC? Looking to boost your knowledge about other lesser known Vietnam memorials?

If so, now is the time to pick up Fallen Never Forgotten. The book, written by Ronny Ymbras, provides in-depth knowledge about the various Vietnam War memories within the United States.

Fallen Never Forgotten covers more than 50 memorials and includes professional pictures of each one.

Ready to purchase? If so, do so below!

Online Purchase Instructions

Click the green “BUY NOW” button and pay with PayPal or you can pay with your Credit or Debit card by filling out the “Customer Information” form and clicking “Continue to Shipping Method”

August 11th – This Date in the Vietnam War

This photo was taken at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Carson City, Nevada. To learn more about this and over 50 other Vietnam Veteran Memorials by purchasing Fallen Never Forgotten here

The following events took place on this date in Vietnam War History. We have gathered this information from sources deemed to be accurate. If you find any mistakes please contact us

This timeline is meant to keep track of what was both happening on the battlefield, politically and at home in the USA during the Vietnam war.

1967

After restrictions were in place for many years U.S. pilots are approved to bomb street and rail lines in the Hanoi & Haiphong region, previously on the non-target list. This allowed the Air Force to bomb within 25 miles of China and use rockets and other artillery inside ten miles of the border. The original limits were put in place as a result of President Lyndon B Johnson’s dread that it might end in a showdown with China and the possibility of an even bigger war.

1972

The 3rd Battalion, Twenty-First Infantry, leaves for the United States. They would be the last U.S. ground battle unit in South Vietnam. They were guarding an air base in Da Nang.

Purchase the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Book

August 4th – This Date in the Vietnam War

This photo was taken at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Nashville, Tennessee. To learn more about this and over 50 other Vietnam Veteran Memorials by purchasing Fallen Never Forgotten here

The following events took place on this date in Vietnam War History. We have gathered this information from sources deemed to be accurate. If you find any mistakes please contact us

This timeline is meant to keep track of what was both happening on the battlefield, politically and at home in the USA during the Vietnam war.

1969

At a Paris flat, undercover negotiations happen between Kissinger and Xuan Thuy a N Vietnam delegate. Henry Kissinger repeated a proposition that was previously set forth in May which included a withdrawal of N Vietnamese and American troops and furthermore cautioned that if no advance was made by Nov 1st in the direction of ending the war, the US would be forced to consider measures of grave consequences. The North’s delegate did not comply and replied with the standard North Vietnamese line that the US would need to pull back every one of its troops and desert the Thieu government before there would be any chance of ending the war. These mystery talks would proceed, however would not manage any real progress until 72, after the Nguyen Hue Offensive had fizzled and Operation Linebacker II, the “Christmas bombing” of North Vietnam commenced.

Purchase the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Book

August 3rd – This Date in the Vietnam War

This photo was taken at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire, New Mexico. To learn more about this and over 50 other Vietnam Veteran Memorials by purchasing Fallen Never Forgotten here

The following events took place on this date in Vietnam War History. We have gathered this information from sources deemed to be accurate. If you find any mistakes please contact us

This timeline is meant to keep track of what was both happening on the battlefield, politically and at home in the USA during the Vietnam war.

1966

An operation that lasted until October, Operation Prairie commenced in the north part of South Vietnam. It was in many ways a continuation of Operation Hastings. The objective was to rid the area of three battalions of the North Vietnamese mostly just south of the DMZ. Units involved were the 3rd Marine Division and 4th Marine Regiment. The sweeps were reported to leave close to 1,400 communist casualties.

Purchase the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Book

August 2nd – This Date in the Vietnam War

This photo was taken at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Sacramento, California. To learn more about this and over 50 other Vietnam Veteran Memorials by purchasing Fallen Never Forgotten here

The following events took place on this date in Vietnam War History. We have gathered this information from sources deemed to be accurate. If you find any mistakes please contact us

This timeline is meant to keep track of what was both happening on the battlefield, politically and at home in the USA during the Vietnam war.

1964

Two separate incidents between North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin off the shore of North Vietnam are known as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. In the in the first encounter; during a DeSoto mission the U.S.S. Maddox was locked in by three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo ships beginning a battle in which the american ship exhausted more than 280 3″ and 5″ shells, and strafing by four US Navy F8 Crusaders.

1965

When polled over 60% of US citizens said the did not feel the USA made a mistake by sending troops to Vietnam. A number that would drop in the coming years.

1971

Richard Nixon’s camp formally admits that the CIA is keeping up around 30k “irregulars” battling the Communists in Laos. The CIA prepared and armed these mountain tribesman, generally from the Hmong tribe, to battle a secret war against the Communists and to cut off the Ho Chi Minh Trail into S Vietnam

 

Purchase the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Book

August 1st – This Date in the Vietnam War

This photo was taken at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Homdel, New Jersey. Learn more about this and over 50 other Vietnam Veteran Memorials by purchasing Fallen Never Forgotten here

The following events took place on this date in Vietnam War History. We have gathered this information from sources deemed to be accurate. If you find any mistakes please contact us

This timeline is meant to keep track of what was both happening on the battlefield, politically and at home in the USA during the Vietnam war.

1962

Shoofly, a USMC helicopter unit is replaced by the by HMM-163 in the wake of flying over 130 landings against the Vietcong. The Marines endure no losses.

1965

When polled over 60% of US citizens said the did not feel the USA made a mistake by sending troops to Vietnam. A number that would drop in the coming years.

 

Purchase the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Book

July 31st – This Date in the Vietnam War

This photo was taken at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Portland, Oregon. Learn more about this and over 50 other Vietnam Veteran Memorials by purchasing Fallen Never Forgotten here

The following events took place on this date in Vietnam War History. We have gathered this information from sources deemed to be accurate. If you find any mistakes please contact us

This timeline is meant to keep track of what was both happening on the battlefield, politically and at home in the USA during the Vietnam war.

1961

Gen. Edward Lansdale presents a report of the Main Observation Group the surreptitious fighting unit requested by JFK in May. Going to rise from 340 to 805 soldiers, the unit’s focuses are soon to move from activities against the Vietcong in the South and concentrate altogether on N. Vietnam.

1972

Hanoi challenges the Nixon and the white house over the dike bombing controversy, They claimed that there were 173 attacks in 149 places against the embankments, dams and dikes in North Vietnam

Purchase the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Book

July 29th – This Date in the Vietnam War

This photo was taken at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Clinton, Ohio. Learn more about this and som amny more Vietnam Veteran Memorials by purchasing Fallen Never Forgotten here

The following events took place on this date in Vietnam War History. We have gathered this information from sources deemed to be accurate. If you find any mistakes please contact us

This timeline is meant to keep track of what was both happening on the battlefield, politically and at home in the USA during the Vietnam war.

1965

101st Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade arrived at Cam Ranh Bay (4000 paratroopers). The 1st brigade was the third United States Army unit to land in the Nam. The rest of the 101st came in Dec of ’67. The 101st ABN division endured roughly 20k casualties (KIA or wounded) throughout the war.

1972

Fire desecrates the U.S.S Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin. More than 130 crewmen died and 21 planes were destroyed.

Purchase the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Book

July 28th – This Date in the Vietnam War

This photo was taken at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Little Rock, Arkansas. To learn more about this and other Vietnam Veteran Memorials purchase Fallen Never Forgotten here

The following events took place on this date in Vietnam War History. We have gathered this information from sources deemed to be accurate. If you find any mistakes please contact us

This timeline is meant to keep track of what was both happening on the battlefield, politically and at home in the USA during the Vietnam war.

1965

United States Pres Lyndon B. Johnson requested an expansion in the quantity of U.S. troops in Vietnam to 125k and an expansion in the draft from 17k to 35k young men every month. Johnson did not activate the Reserves and National Guard. Johnson’s decisions were a giant step in the US involvement in the war, as more and more troops were sent over in the years to follow

1972

Because of Soviet Union’s allegations that the US had run a 2 month bombing effort purposefully to demolish the embankments and dams of the Tonkin Delta in N Vietnam, a CIA report is made open by the Nixon organization. The now public report states that there were twelve bombings but and damage to the dikes, embankments or dams were 100% unintentional. These dams, dykes and irrigation were a huge deal as the systems were the base of how the Red River Delta area was made habitable.

Purchase the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Book

July 27th – This Date in the Vietnam War

This photo was taken at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Roswell, Georgia. To learn more about this and other Vietnam Veteran Memorials purchase Fallen Never Forgotten here

The following events took place on this date in Vietnam War History. We have gathered this information from sources deemed to be accurate. If you find any mistakes please contact us

This timeline is meant to keep track of what was both happening on the battlefield, politically and at home in the USA during the Vietnam war.

1964

The US decides they are to send an extra 5k troops to South Vietnam, raising the the number of U.S. armed forces personnel in the Republic of Vietnam to 21k

1965

Pres Lyndon B. Johnson met with leaders of Congress and all parties concurred with the President’s intent to raise the U.S. military strength in Vietnam. The only one against it was Senator Mansfield from Montana. Mike Mansfield instead proposed arrangements to end the war

46 F-105’s strike the missile installation which previously fired at USAF planes just three days before. They also struck another 64 kms NW of Hanoi. Unfortunately 5 USAF aircraft were shot down in the process

 

Purchase the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Book