Forever Remembered

(2 photos, Fuji X100T)

Vietnam Veterans Memorial and a red carnation left in remembranceVietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC

Honoring the men and women who served in the Vietnam War, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial chronologically lists across 140 black granite panels the names of more than 58,000 men and women who gave their lives while serving with the U.S. armed forces in the Vietnam War.

I visited this memorial on a Tuesday morning, just before 7:00. Only a few joggers broke the silence and solemnity of this emotion-laden memorial, well worth the sunrise trip into the city.

VIetnam Veterans MemorialPosted on Monochromia

30 thoughts on “Forever Remembered

  1. Your commitment to arriving early was met with reward Stacy. I love that you’ve captured it without reflection of lots of visitors. The names really are front and centre a this hour. Julia and I found our way here one day. Just like Arlington Cemetery, the names are so vast, it takes your breath away. I felt a little unworthy placing my hands on the names of a few. Just imagining how young and scared these boys would have been. It’s hard thinking of their sacrifice and what it did to so many families, I’ve been sheltered from such devastation but really wanted to go, it’s very powerful.

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    • Boomdee, you’ve beautifully put into words the feelings I had as I shot these images. I’m so glad you and Julia had a chance to visit. It’s difficult to describe to someone who hasn’t been there why it’s so powerful and a necessary visit when in DC. Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comment ❤️

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      • Yes! Next time.

        I saw the AIDS memorial quilt many years ago, sobering to say the least. Then I saw the quilt square of a co-worker who had died from AIDS. I knew he had died, but seeing the actually quilt triggered an avalanche of emotions. I sobbed uncontrollable for some time. The enormity of both his loss and the collective loss of men with AIDS was staggering. That is why these memorials are so profound.

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        • Oh, Alys, I too saw the AIDS quilt, when it was first displayed on the grounds of the Washington Monument in 1987. A friend of ours had travelled from LA to DC to be here for the march. I remember the enormity of the quilt and reading so many names. Remember Ryan White? The young hemophiliac who contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion? I saw his panel and so many others, each lovingly created and filled with memories and pictures – like you, I shed many tears. I had forgotten this memory, but how right you are about the sobering and emotional effect of “seeing” the collective loss.

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        • I’m amazed that we both saw the quilt, or at least parts of it. I heard that it grew so large that they couldn’t always display all of it. Telling and sad, isn’t it.

          I do remember Ryan White.

          Having worked in theater in the early eighties, it seems I would hear every few months of a former classmate or colleague succumbing to AIDS. It was a dark, dark time. We’ve made great strides, at least in the country, though in parts of Africa the infection rate is close to 50%. Hard to imagine.

          Thanks for sharing your experiences, Stacy.

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        • Alys, what did you do in the theater? Did you mention that at lunch? Do tell, as I’m a past theater techie myself (which I think I DID mention at lunch). And, yes, I too remember the seemingly steady stream of losses to AIDS in that community.

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      • Hi, Bruce. I was a middle-schooler at the time my brother’s number came up in the draft. I didn’t understand all that was happening, but I do remember my parents’ emotional reaction to his number. Living in DC the past 34 years, a powerful annual reminder of that chapter in our history plays out every Memorial Day when the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally (Ride for Freedom) comes to the area.

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    • Thanks, Elina. I read somewhere that one purpose of using black granite to create the panels was to reflect the surrounding monuments (I witnessed the reflection of the Washington Monument near the apex that morning – sadly, those shots didn’t turn out as I had wanted), trees, and lawns, creating a park within a park.

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  2. So glad you were there to catch the sunrise reflected in the granite. It’s been years since I’ve been to this Memorial. Thanks for bringing it to us via your beautiful photography

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    • Thanks so much, Laurie. I took many shots from many different angles trying to capture the emotion of the memorial. Being there to capture the early morning rays was wonderful. I may have to go back in late afternoon to see the difference (though at that time, it will be filled with tourists). After 3 or 4, the sun is behind the memorial, so sunset doesn’t work here (not at this time of the year anyway).

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    • Thanks, Robin. Actually, the B&W is not a panorama in the true sense of the word. Merely shot with my 23mm fixed lens (35mm equivalent) and cropped. It was an interesting exercise figuring out how best to capture the essence of the memorial with this lens. A wide angle would have been wonderful, but I was really pleased with how this turned out.

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    • Thanks, Raewyn. Each time I visit the Wall, seeing items left always gives me pause and makes me wonder on the stories behind them. I know there were/are those who don’t like the design of the memorial, but I couldn’t imagine anything better.

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