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Thousands of American soldiers lost their lives in the bloody and brutal Vietnam War. It is here at this towering black granite wall situated between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial that they are immortalised.
The wall is inscribed with the names of over 58,000 men and women – those who were considered missing in action are marked with a cross, while those known to be dead have a diamond by their names. As soon as you cast an eye across the thousands of names, you will be filled with a real sense of the scale of loss witnessed by the country in Vietnam - and of course by families all across the US.
Made up of two different walls rising 76 metres high and arranged in a V shape, with one pointing to the Lincoln Memorial and the other to the Washington Monument, this design is meant to symbolise the national division in opinion over the contentious war. The stone wall itself is highly reflective and is intended to unite the past with the present.
All through the year you’ll find wreaths, cards and gifts left by grieving families or even just by well-wishers that are placed at the foot of the memorial. Some visitors may even be paying their own respects to loved ones lost in the war, so note the hushed and considerate tone in the air all around the monument.
Close to the wall you’ll also be able to find other statues, the Three Soldiers as well as the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. These rather more traditional looking monuments were built partly to placate the concerns of some who claimed the original Vietnam memorial wall was too abstract.
The memorial is open all day every day. Between 8 a.m. and midnight, staff are on hand here, whilst at the top of every hour, you can take an informative tour.
Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of George Washington University, White House and Lincoln Memorial. Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Washington Monument are also within 2 mi (3 km). Foggy Bottom Station is 7 minutes by foot and Dupont Circle Station is 9 minutes.
Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of World Bank and Dupont Circle. George Washington University and White House are also within 15 minutes. Farragut North Station is 6 minutes by foot and Dupont Circle Station is 10 minutes.
This family-friendly Washington hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of White House, Ford's Theater and National Museum of African American History and Culture. Washington Monument and Capital One Arena are also within 1 mi (2 km). McPherson Sq. Station is only a 3-minute walk and Farragut West Station is 7 minutes.
Located in District Wharf, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of L'Enfant Plaza, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and Museum of the Bible. National Mall and Washington Monument are also within 1 mile (2 km). Waterfront Station is 9 minutes by foot and L'Enfant Plaza Station is 10 minutes.
Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of White House, National Mall and Smithsonian Institution. National Gallery of Art and United States Capitol are also within 3 mi (5 km). Farragut West Station is only a 3-minute walk and Farragut North Station is 7 minutes.
Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this historic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Lafayette Square, White House, and CityCenterDC. Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Warner Theatre are also within 15 minutes. McPherson Sq. Station is only a 2-minute walk and Center Station is 10 minutes.
Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of National Theatre and Warner Theatre. White House and National Museum of African American History and Culture are also within 10 minutes. Federal Triangle Station is 8 minutes by foot and Center Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Dupont Circle, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of George Washington University Hospital and George Washington University. Kennedy Center and White House are also within 1 mile (2 km). Foggy Bottom Station is 7 minutes by foot and Dupont Circle Station is 10 minutes.