The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial : The History of Washington D.C.'s Vietnam War Monument

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*Includes pictures *Includes accounts of the memorial's history written by people who worked on the project *Includes a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents Before the Vietnam War, most Americans would have been hard pressed to locate Vietnam on a map. South Vietnamese President Diem's regime was extremely unpopular, and war broke out between Communist North Vietnam and South Vietnam around the end of the '50s. Kennedy's administration tried to prop up the South Vietnamese with training and assistance, but the South Vietnamese military was feeble. A month before his death, Kennedy signed a presidential directive withdrawing 1,000 American personnel, and shortly after Kennedy's assassination, new President Lyndon B. Johnson reversed course, instead opting to expand American assistance to South Vietnam. Johnson had sent fewer than 5,000 Marines to Vietnam in early 1965, but he quickly upped it to 200,000 by the end of the year. There was no going back. Although hundreds of thousands protested the war in 1967, including Martin Luther King, Jr., a majority of the public still supported it, due in large part to the Johnson's administration public confidence. But as General Westmoreland talked of victory at the end of 1967, the Viet Cong launched a massive assault across South Vietnam in January 1968. Known as the Tet Offensive, the Viet Cong suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties, and the American forces never lost a battle, but American support for the war still plummeted. By the end of the decade, Vietnam had left tens of thousands of Americans dead, spawned a counterculture with millions of protesters, and destroyed a presidency. And more was still yet to come. The Vietnam War remains one of the most controversial events in American history, and it bitterly divided the nation, so it's somewhat ironic that the most famous monument commemorating the war is also one of the most serene spots in the nation's capital. Indeed, the famous Vietnam Wall is a place of almost eerie silence where even children cease their chatter. Rising out of the ground like an ancient obelisk, it calls upon its visitors to stop talking and to look and gaze upon the magnitude of America's great mistake, a war that began in whispers and ended in tears. As professors Cheree Carlson and John Hocking pointed out in their 1987 paper, "'A Message for My Brother: ' The Vietnam Veterans' Memorial as Rhetorical Situation," "The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is not a 'traditional; war memorial. No shining flags fly no bronze statue of brave heroes stands tall beside it no heroism is lauded. In fact, it is not a memorial to the war at all but rather a memorial to the 2.7 million Americans who served in Vietnam and especially to those who were killed...it focuses our attention on those who did not survive the war. The Vietnam War is reduced to its inevitable result. The Memorial suggests the message 'In war young men die; here are their names.'" At the same time, the monument speaks volumes not just about the nature of war but the utter catastrophe that occurred in Southeast Asia. Whereas the World War II memorial has a grand design that honors contributions and soldiers by state, visitors who may have come from there or the bustling Lincoln Memorial nearby are often struck by the length of the wall, a solemn but powerful reminder that Vietnam claimed nearly 60,000 American lives. Given that, it should come as no surprise that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the most visited places in the city, with millions coming and paying tribute each year. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial: The History of Washington D.C.'s Vietnam War Monument traces the history and construction of the famous wall. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the history of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial like never before, in no time at all.show more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 2.79mm | 117.93g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1507727968
  • 9781507727966

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8 ratings
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