Maya Lin: Planning to Design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC

Maya Lin: Planning to Design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC

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Everlasting Stories
Memorials not only remind people about specific events and leaders, but also sets history in stone for future generations. When creating and building a memorial for a specific person or event, many factors should be considered. Sometimes, these memorials honor great achievement while others pay homage to deep sacrifice. However, there are many ways to memorialize people or events, locally or nationally, ranging from pictures to monuments. When considering to memorialize a person or event, agencies and groups should consider purpose, location and size of the monument in order to effectively pay homage to deep sacrifice and great achievements.
A contributing factor that agencies and groups should consider when building a monument is the purpose. When Maya Lin, an architect, was planning to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, she believed that "the use of names was a way to bring back everything someone could remember about a person" (Source G). Lin decided to choose names rather than photos or pictures because visual arts will not be able to describe what every veteran has done during the war. She wanted to commemorate every single soldier that fought during the war rather than leave mere glimpses of the war. However, other times the purpose is clouded like it was on Lincoln's memorial: "Why make a pilgrimage to a site with no historical significance to read a text that was already everywhere? The answer is simple: the monument manufactures its own aura" (Source A). Parts of the Gettysburg address was reproduced onto the monument, however, the purpose is to remind others about Lincoln's achievements. By bringing in the most important aspects of the Gettysburg address, the people who visit ...

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...lieves that people often forget the history behind the creation. The fact that the monument was built on Mount Rushmore also illustrates the importance of these Presidents, but undermines the mountain and builds up environmental consequences. When creating a monument, agencies and groups should consider the size of the memorial.
Agencies and groups should consider the purpose, location, and size of the monument in order to respect peoples' achievements and sacrifices as well as events. Monuments reminds people about the great leaders and events that happened in the past. However, not everyone gets their own monument because in order to be honored and respected, one must either accomplish a huge achievement or sacrifice for the greater good. As the American designer, artist and architect Maya Lin once said, " Every memorial in its time has a different goal."

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