I have visited The Wall three times, and have left in tears every time.
It is quiet there, respectful,and seeing yourself reflected in the black granite as you scan the names of those who are no more, and all they and their hopes and dreams represented, you become profoundly saddened and profoundly grateful for their sacrifice.
The descent to the center and then the ascent gives a a subconcious feeling of descending into the hell of war, and ascending out of the monument renews hope in peace among men. The cut into the soil accurately represents the absolute division in our society that was present during the conflict, unlike other wars in our history.
I have always considered the design to be hugely respectful of those that actually fought and died in that war.
If anything, it gives a stark reminder of the true costs of any conflict which we as a nation choose to become engulfed in.
It tells you quietly, to consider the cost. Because the cost is very high.
And it tells you that as an American, you need to be a better person to earn their sacrifice and make it count.
It remains one of the most powerful monuments in how it chooses to evoke emotions to reflect on those who died as people and yet graphically show the enormity of the cost of war—of just one war.
It is masterful, and shows wisdom of the designer far beyond her years when it was designed.
Beautifully, beautifully put.
And I guess the poster I originally responded to doesn’t know who Jan Scruggs was, and the effort it took for him to get a
Memorial Wall going.
Interestingly, I’ve recently gotten back in touch with my bunkmate from Basic , who I haven’t seen since about ‘68/
He asked me if I had the Basic Training “yearbook”, which surprised me, because I didn’t even know a yearbook existed.
So he emailed it all to me, page by page.
All those young and innocent faces (mine included) really brought back a whole new dimension of memories.
So now I have a COMPLETE list of the guys I was in Basic with,rather than the hundred or so names I could call up from memory.
If I ever make it back to D.C. and visit the Wall, I might take that list with me.
Or I might not.
I’m sure you know what I mean.