Vietnam Veterans Memorial, near the Lincoln Memorial between the Reflecting Pool and Constitution Ave., honors the men and women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces in Vietnam. A design by Maya Lin, a student at Yale University, was chosen from among 1,421 entries submitted in 1981. Lin's stark conception incorporates V-shaped walls of polished black granite that mirror both the surrounding trees and monuments and the faces of those searching for names.
The names are of the dead and missing are inscribed chronologically by date of casualty. Directories help locate specific individuals, and visitors are permitted to make rubbings of names.
A life-size statue of three servicemen stands near the V-shaped walls; each one carries a dog tag in a different place. Wreath ceremonies take place on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. The Vietnam Women's Memorial honors the more than 265,000 women who served during the Vietnam War with a statue depicting two servicewomen coming to the aid of a wounded soldier.