World Reviewer rating

Worth a visit
Rating 1.2 (227 votes)

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Listed under Contemporary Architecture in Washington D.C., United States.

Photo of Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Photo by flickr user dbking
Pin It

This is one of the most famous memorials in the world and caused a stir when it was unveiled in 1982 because of its unusual, but beautiful design; it receives around 3 million visitors a year. It is made of black polished granite in a large V shape and has the names of over 58,000 soldiers carved into it.

It is a very calm place and undeniably emotive even if you were born after the Vietnamese conflict. The other parts of the memorial are comprised of a statue named The Three Soldiers, featuring a White American, Black American and Hispanic American. This statue is close to the main memorial without imposing upon it. South of the wall there is also the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, which is another bronze statue dedicated to the women who served as nurses during the Vietnam War.

Although there are some wide open spaces and shading trees, there is little else for children, so this is more popular with adults and those coming to remember soldiers lost. The memorial is situated in Constitution Gardens and is also home to the famous Reflection Pools, the most famous of which is that east of the Lincoln Memorial often seen in photographs of the Washington Monument. These gardens also play host to a healthy population of grey squirrels. The gardens are quite safe and are open until midnight most nights.

Written by  Vikkie Chapman.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

That's just a beautiful piece of art work. Really moving.

Dave @

Vietnam Memorial, Washington

Two long black granite walls in the shape of a V house almost 60,000 names of men and women who gave their lives during the Vietnam War. This simple, yet moving monument holds power in the thousands of names inscribed into the black stone. It's not uncommon to see visitors rubbing a pencil and paper over a name to commemorate the fallen.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Walking through this park-like area, the memorial appears as a rift in the earth - a long, polished black stone wall, emerging from and receding into the earth. Approaching the memorial, the ground slopes gently downward, and the low walls emerging on either side, growing out of the earth, extend and converge at a point below and ahead. Walking into the grassy site contained by the walls of this memorial, we can barely make out the carved names upon the memorial's walls. These names, seemingly infinite in number, convey the sense of overwhelming numbers, while unifying these individuals into a whole...

Post a comment, review or question

I want to
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?

Who's been here

Similar Experiences

  • Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia

    Gaudí’s phenomenal neogothic masterpiece (‘the last great sanctuary of Christendom’), although yet incomplete, contains his gre…

  • Sydney Opera House

    Significantly more graceful and elegant than the rest of Sydney, the Opera House is beautiful from all angles, and worth lookin…

  • Empire State Building

    Once again New York’s tallest building, this Art Deco structure rises 1,252 feet (381metre) from the ground, with 102 floors an…

Nearby Experiences

  • National Mall

    'Mall' has come to mean big shopping centre in the US, but this Mall takes the word back to its original use as a way or road. …

  • Washington Monument

    This is actually a 555ft tall obelisk, Egyptian-inspired tribute to America’s first President, George Washington. Robert Mills …

  • Corcoran Gallery of Art

    The Corcoran is a private art institution, housing collections of European and American work in a graceful Beaux Arts building.…

Related links

Contribute to this page