Essay on Maya Lin Vietnam War Memorial

Essay on Maya Lin Vietnam War Memorial

Length: 1505 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Although controversial in its inception, Maya Lin's Vietnam War Memorial adequately fulfills the vision of Jan Scruggs, who returned home wounded from the conflict in Southeast Asia at the age of 19, for a monument to his fallen comrades in arms that would "provide a symbol of acknowledgement of the courage, sacrifice, and devotion to duty of those who were among the nation's finest youth."1

Lin's work, unlike most previous military monuments, rejects the emphasis on heroics in favor of a poignant, contemplative, apolitical design which conveys an almost unbearable sense of loss. Simple, graceful, and abstract, the design specified two 246.75 –foot long walls of polished black southern India granite, set below grade and connected at a 125 degree angle.2 Each segment of the wall is composed of 70 panels. At their intersection, the walls are 10.1 feet high and they taper down to a height of 8 inches at their extremities.3 The largest panels have 137 lines of names.4 The smallest panels have just one line. Each line consists of five names, which were sandblasted into the polished surface by hand, rather than cut into it with machine tools.5 Currently, the monument wall lists the names of 58,175 members of the armed forces who were confirmed killed or listed as missing in action during the Vietnam War.6

Although the complete listing of the names of those killed in action or missing in action, the horizontality, reflectivity, and subdued, un-heroic and apolitical tone were more or less mandated by the memorial's sponsors, Lin's one genuine innovation was to list the dead and missing chronologically, rather than alphabetically, that latter being the accepted norm in military monuments. Lin quotes the purpose of the memoria...

... middle of paper ...

...Veterans Memorial is not primary focus. Louis Torres points out Fredrick's Hart's sculptor "Three Soldiers" and Glenna Goodacre's "Vietnam Women's Memorial" as significant works of art. The articles shows the unjust and tainted opinion of the New York Times author, Daniel Orkrent's commentary. This argument was one primary ideas to contrast the positive and negative impact of the memorial.

Warner, John " Memorial Bills, FDCH Congressional Testimony, June 3, 2003."
Committee on Senate Energy and National Resources Subcommittee on National Parks. 3 June 2003: ESBCO. Mission Viejo Library., Mission Viejo, CA. 31 July 2005.

John Warner ‘s speech gave me demographic information, and allowed me give substance to my paper. This is a supplement resource. I used this information as part of my closing summary and support for my thesis.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Vietnam After the Vietnam War

- The new unified Vietnam became the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV). With the Americans gone, however, Vietnam's military problems were not over. In neighboring Kampuchea (previously named Cambodia), Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge began a reign of terror in hopes of creating a pre-industrial utopia, murdering around 2 million people in so-called "killing fields." In 1978, the SRV invaded Kampuchea to stop the Khmer Rouge, in what became known as "Vietnam's Vietnam." While the invasion put an end to the "killing fields," China became upset by the SRV's extension of influence in the region and began a border war with Vietnam....   [tags: Vietnam War Essays]

Free Essays
779 words (2.2 pages)

The Vietnam Veteran Memorial Essay

- The Vietnam War is considered one of the most controversial and longest wars in the American history. It led to the construction of the Vietnam Veterans memorial wall in 1982, having been crafted by Maya Lin, an architecture student at Yale University. The Vietnam Veterans moving memorial wall is a national memorial located in Washington D.C. The wall contains names of servicemen who died (Killed in Action) or went missing (Missing in Action) during the Vietnam War. “The memorial comprises of three distinct parts which include three Soldiers statues, Vietnam Veterans Wall and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial” (McGuiness, 2011)....   [tags: conmemorating the fallen in Vietnam]

Powerful Essays
662 words (1.9 pages)

The War Of The Vietnam War Essay

- f you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind. David Giffy (Vietnam veteran) Vietnam War lasted from 1959 until 1975 and had grave consequences that influenced greatly not only the history of Vietnam itself but of other countries as well....   [tags: Vietnam War, Vietnam, United States, South Vietnam]

Powerful Essays
2022 words (5.8 pages)

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

- ... 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 the memorial are able to give respect towards Lincoln's legacy as a whole....   [tags: names, sacrifices, agencies, ]

Powerful Essays
765 words (2.2 pages)

Essay The Impact of the Vietnam War on Veterans

- How did a Vietnam soldier's life change during and after the war. Society had a lot of different views regarding the soldiers and the war. When coming home veterans faced many distinct challenges. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial helped to heal the nation. The Vietnam War had a major impact on the United States and the soldiers who fought in it. The Vietnam War was a violent and costly war that needed many men to fight for its cause. These men are now known as the Vietnam veterans. Numerous veterans who fought in the war were injured or lost a comrade during battle....   [tags: Vietnam Veterans Essays]

Powerful Essays
967 words (2.8 pages)

Unique Design of the Vietnam War Memorial Essay

- Unique Design of the Vietnam War Memorial At the age of twenty one, a female undergraduate at Yale University named Maya Lin submitted her design for the Vietnam Memorial. Her idea for the memorial was extremely unique and controversial. After long discussions by a panel, it was chosen for construction. The design that she submitted was one that was very different in comparison to other memorials, and it was one that has a tendency to leave a lot of questions on the minds of the visitors. On the face of the memorial there is a list of all those who died or are missing in the order by which they were lost....   [tags: American America History]

Powerful Essays
877 words (2.5 pages)

The Art of Maya Lin Essay

- Maya Lin is a driven and innovative artist of our time. Many of her works have been seen as controversial and received harsh criticism. She manages to trudge on. Her works express both an artistic and mathematical feel, somehow finding a beautiful marriage between. Her obsession with art and knowledge can be greatly attributed to her parents, as she was very successful at an early age. Her art career is one of many triumphs and breaking boundaries in the art world. Lin has a great love for nature, and many of her pieces help to express the significance of this, and she loves to enthrall the audience....   [tags: Biography ]

Powerful Essays
1596 words (4.6 pages)

Essay on Value Of The Washington D.c

- Value of the Washington D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial Tragic events occur not only in the United States, but also all over the world. From these tragic events communities, families, and the government decide to place memorials for people that were lost and as a thank you for people protecting the citizens of the country. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, The Wall, in Washington D.C. is one of these cases. However, what exactly was the purpose of this memorial. The purpose of putting up the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was not only to thank the veterans for their bravery, but to remind future generations about happened during the Vietnam War....   [tags: Vietnam War, Vietnam, United States, South Vietnam]

Powerful Essays
1206 words (3.4 pages)

The Vietnam Memorial Wall Essay

- One of the most powerful sentiments human beings are capable of feeling is sympathy. Sympathy is the “harmony of or agreement in feeling” (Dictionary). One potential reason why one individual may feel sympathetically towards another individual would be due to a traumatic experience. The commiseration with one’s deepest sentiments such as anguish and suffering transcends the existence of two separate individuals and creates an emotional link that forms a figuratively united, compassionate entity....   [tags: Vietnam War Essays]

Powerful Essays
1370 words (3.9 pages)

The Vietnam War Memorial Essay

- The Vietnam War Memorial. It is a wall, but it is also a monster that many avoid, and many are nervous to visit. In truth, all it is though is facts. It lists the names of all the soldiers that died in the conflict that was staged in a small country in Asia. All the names. There are so many names. Names that go on and on. There are over fifty-eight thousand of them, and every single one of them is a real person. A real man. A real woman. A real person. A real soldier. A real American. It was probably a man who considered whether or not to even serve his country....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
566 words (1.6 pages)