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1982 - Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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IN HONOR OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES WHO SERVED IN THE VIETNAM WAR. THE NAMES OF THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES AND OF THOSE WHO REMAIN MISSING ARE INSCRIBED IN THE ORDER THEY WERE TAKEN FROM US. Inscription from panel 1 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

In 1979, Jan Scruggs, a Vietnam veteran, began the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), an organization that wanted on the National Mall a monument dedicated to the men and women who lost their lives or were missing in action during the Vietnam War. The national design competition brought in 1,421 entries based on four criteria: the design must be reflective, harmonious with the site, inscribed with the names of the dead and missing in action, and make no political statement. Maya Ying Lin, an architecture student from Yale University, was chosen.

Three years after Scruggs began his mission, on November 13, 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated. Listed on its black granite walls are 58,249 names.