25th Anniversary at the Wall
Thousands of Vietnam War veterans are gathering in Washington to observe the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial. A downtown parade and other activities are scheduled for Saturday, and commemorative ceremonies will be held at the Memorial on Sunday, according to Wednesday's Washington Post. Numbering 7.2 million, Vietnam War veterans make up the nation's largest veterans' group. Seventeen of them sit in Congress. "Military veterans of Vietnam have had an extraordinary influence on American society," said Jan C. Scruggs, founder of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Fund, which built the Memorial.
Completed in Nov. 1982, the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial is located near National Mall, just northeast of the Lincoln Memorial. The Memorial consists of three separate parts: the Three Soldiers statue, the Vietnam Women's Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Wall, which is the most visited part of the memorial, receiving 3 million visitors each year. The Vietnam War is both the longest and arguably most controversial war in U.S. history to date. A stated goal of the Memorial is to avoid commentary on the war itself, serving solely as a memorial to those who served.