"Most visitors have no particular vet in mind. They come because they know the Memorial has something important to offer."

To Heal A Nation
By Jan C. Scruggs & Joel L. Swerdlow

ne of the 20th Century's greatest human tragedies,
the cost of the Vietnam War will forever be calculated by the 3 million lives lost in the conflict. Thirty one years have passed since the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.

In more than a quarter century, the scars of battle have healed slowly for many of the 2.7 million U.S.
servicemen and women who served in Vietnam, and for
the loved ones of those who died in the small
country halfway around the world.

In Its Reflection

  In 1979, the idea to create a national symbol of reconciliation to "heal a nation" was born in the mind of Jan C. Scruggs, a former infantryman who saw combat in the war.

Scruggs enlisted the help of fellow Vietnam veterans who shared his vision and after 3 1/2 years of planning, fighting and fundraising, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 13, 1982.

The Wall, as it is more commonly known, is 247 feet in length and stands 10 feet high at its vertex. Inscribed upon its polished, black granite surface are the names of every GI killed or who remains Missing In Action in Vietnam, a total of 58,253 at last count.

One can not help but be moved by the solemn dignity that the Memorial evokes and with the reverence it is held in by all who walk in its reflection.

Every day, visitors come from great distances to extend a simple, heartfelt touch, pause in reflective thought or to place a personal memento at its base. Like a giant healing stone, The Wall beckons its visitors to participate in its purpose.

James Emolo


Purple Heart  


All images and content within copyrighted © 2006 James Emolo