The winning design is a long, black wall, in the shape of a V, with the names of all the American soldiers killed in Vietnam. A few years after the was erected, a more traditional statue of three GI's was installed near the wall. The wall is constructed of polished black granite, and there is a brick path where visitors walk, along with lights at the edge of the path that shine up and illuminate the names carved in the panels.

The names are placed on the panels in order of their date of death. I found it interesting that the designer choose to start the names (1959) in the center of the V. The dates continue on panels going to the right, each panel slightly shorter than the previous. At the extreme right end of the V, the panels have shrunk down to 6 inches, and the names are from 1970. The panels continue, without names, out to a point. From here, if you want to continue the chronological progression of names, you have to walk back to the far left end of the V. There the panels again start at a point, down low by the path. The names begin again with "John H. Anderson, Jr." and continue toward the center of the monument. As the left panels progress, they get taller and taller, until at the center the panels are over 15 feet tall. In the very center of the V, the end of the war (1975) meets with the beginning. I guess that makes for some kind of closure.

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