In 250-400 words: Why is Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial so enduringly powerful? In your answer, please consider some of the following: -In what ways is the memorial distinctly different from traditional memorials? -How was Maya Lin chosen as the designer, and what backlash did she and the design face? Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The War Memorial exists today to represent America’s respect and memory of the men and women who served and died in the Vietnam War. The black granite walls are inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 men and women who died or disappeared (Smart History, 2013). While she wanted the monument to remain politically neutral, the geopolitics of the Vietnam War were inescapable. The memorial has sparked as much controversy as the conflict itself. Veterans’ organizations have criticized the war memorial for its lack of patriotic or heroic themes and expressed displeasure that it seemed to celebrate only those who died rather than surviving veterans (Sanchez, 2019). According to others, the monument should rise above the ground rather than recede into it, as if it were something to be hidden (Smart History, 2013). Businessman H. Ross Perot described the tournament as a “ditch” and withdrew his support after he pledged $160,000 to help manage the event. Vietnam veteran Tom Cath Cart was one of many who criticized the memorial’s dark tone, claiming it was the global color of shame, grief and humiliation (Sanchez, 2019). Other critics argued that Lam’s chevron mirrored the two-fingered peace gesture displayed by Vietnam War protesters and contained a veiled anti-war message. continue…

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