On this day in history, November 13, 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial dedicated to today in HistoryNovember 13, 1982 — becomes the newest addition to the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Designed by Maya Lin, an architecture student at Yale University at the time, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial consists of two 200-foot-long walls made of 72 pieces of polished black granite.

Over 58,000 names U.S. active duty military Seventy of the panels are engraved in order of death with those who were killed (or missing) in the Vietnam War.

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At the time of its dedication, the monument was considered “a gash in the landscape, an unhealed wound” because of its “revolutionary minimalist design,” according to the National Park Service website.

What is different from other memorial halls is that national mallThere are no military statues at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The History Channel website notes that initially, it caused a lot of controversy among the veteran community.

On November 13, 1982, this day in history, Maya Lin, the architect of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, stood at the dedication ceremony. (Harry Narchayan/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

However, after the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was completed, “public opinion shifted significantly toward the monument.”

As of 2023, it is the most visited monument on the National Mall, according to the Department of Defense website.

Today, this is not uncommon friends and family People listed on the wall leave mementos such as flowers, photos, dog tags and even beer cans at the bottom of the panel with their names.

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Items left behind will become the property of national park serviceits website states.

Although the memorial hall was dedicated in 1982, the entire complex was expanded several times in the following years.

A large crowd gathered in front of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial bears the names of nearly every American who died in the war. (Diana Walker/Getty Images)

Two years later, in 1984, Statue of three soldiersA monument entitled “Three Soldiers” was installed and dedicated not far from the Memorial Wall.

The bronze sculpture by Frederick Hart “depicts three U.S. service members and the items they carry,” according to the National Park Service website.

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The three soldiers are deliberately depicted as being of different races: one is European American, another is African American, and another is Latino.

“In their young faces, faces too young to have experienced war, we see expressions of loneliness and deep love, and a fierce determination to never forget.”

Hart’s website says the “Three Soldiers” sculpture is the first to depict African Americans on the National Mall.

“The warriors depicted in the statue we dedicate today, three young American servicemen, are independent only in their battle attire; all are united, eyes fixed on the monument bearing the names of their comrades,” explain President Reagan in a speech at the dedication ceremony.

Veterans walking on the street

On November 13, 1982, Vietnam Veterans held a large parade as part of the dedication ceremony of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. (Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

“On their young faces, on the faces of those too young to have experienced war, we see expressions of loneliness and deep love, and a fierce determination to never forget,” the president added.

In 1993, the Vietnamese Women’s Memorial was unveiled and opened to the public.

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The Vietnam Women’s Memorial features a statue of three women in uniform tending to a wounded soldier, the Interior Ministry’s website said.

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Finally, in 2004, a “Memorial” plaque was added near the statues of the three service members.

The plaque commemorates those who died from causes related to the Vietnam War, such as exposure to Agent Orange.

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