Five interesting facts about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

November 14, 2018

Anniversary of dedication today

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. was dedicated on Nov. 13, 1982, or 36 years ago today.

No public money spent

Not a single dime of taxpayers money was spent on the memorial. It was built through donations from some 275,000 Americans, along with corporations, foundations, veterans groups, civic organizations and labor unions. By 1981, $8.4 million had been raised.

College student created design

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund held a design contest to create the memorial. More than 1,400 submissions came in, and the work of Maya Lin, a 21-year-old Yale University student, was chosen.

All names included

The guidelines for the memorial stipulated that the memorial should contain the names of every American who died in Vietnam or remained missing in action. The names of 57,939 people were originally included, but hundreds have been added since.

Offerings often left at memorial

Tens of thousands of so-called artifacts have been intentionally left at the memorial since its opening, including letters, POW/MIA commemorative bracelets, military medals, dog tags, religious items and photographs.


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