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Purpose of The Vietnam Veterans Memorial The Vietnam Veterans Memorial has not only proven its innate power to connect the soul of the living with the souls of the dead it also reflects the changes those have fought for over the years In the beginning when the idea of having a memorial was suggested by Jan Shurggs a Vietnam Veteran and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund many were opposed to it Eventually the members of the VVMF agreed to the idea but much skepticism and uncertainty still remained The memorial could do many things for the veterans both positive and negative but it would all depended on how it was built In 1980 the VVMF decided the best way to go about finding the perfect memorial would be to hold a competition Bob Doubek veteran and co-founder of the VVMF gave purpose to the design competition The hope is that the creation of the memorial will begin a healing process This was going to be a challenge and the VVMF knew it Over 1000 designs were submitted and after much debate a very simple design was chosen The creator was a 21 year-old undergraduate from Yale University named MayaLin Lins design though simple and vague met all of the stipulated requirements The names of the 57939 Americans who died or are missing in Vietnam had to be engraved on the memorial and contestants were required to be sensitive to the Washington monument and the Lincoln Memorial which bracket the site Maya Lins design was very unique and controversial It envokes contemplation rather than declaring its meaning The Structure is a V-shaped polished granite slab that unlike other monuments has no message of honor or patriotism Those subjects are left to the thoughts of the beholder There are no winners no losers just the names of those lost in the name of
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