Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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Man standing at Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial consists of two long slabs of black granite that come together in a 90-degree angle. The total length of the walls is 500 feet. The grassy land in the center of this open triangle slopes downward so that as visitors move from the ends to where the walls meet in the center, they walk slightly downhill. However, the tops of the walls are level with the surrounding land on the outside of the triangle. Because of this, the ends of each wall start out as barely an inch from the ground. As the ground slopes downward, the wall increases in height until it meets the other wall in the center.

To walk to the center, visitors travel down a walkway of red brick that lines the walls. Long black rectangles have been paved crosswise down the center of this red brick walkway to form a center walk, and between this walk and the walls, circle lights are buried in the red brick and spaced out to light up the walls at night.

The walls themselves are reflective like a mirror so that visitors can see themselves and the landscape behind them as they scan through the seemingly endless list of names etched into the granite’s surface.