Thirty years after work began on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, its message has only grown more profound.
Thirty years ago today, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. And just as the years have allowed Americans to come to terms with that war, what was initially a controversial design now stands as one of the most moving and powerful memorials in the nation.
Today the Vietnam Veterans Memorial has become a place of healing, where over the decades hundreds of thousands of flowers, pictures, and other personal mementos have been placed as offerings for the dead, who now live forever on black granite.
But the fallen also give offerings to the living, by way of their names scratched on slips of paper. "I want to do an etching of his name on the wall for myself, and for my mom and my sisters," said one family member who wished to remain anonymous.
Those fragile slips of paper have now become an unbreakable bond between the fallen and future generations, that cannot be severed by time or space.