A Must-Read Guide: The Vietnam Women’s Memorial

Memorial for female veterans

The Vietnam Women’s Memorial. Photo Source: By Cliff (cliff1066), CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington, DC is a tribute to the US women who served in the Vietnam War, as well as paying homage to the families who lost love ones during the conflict. The bronze memorial features three women and one wounded man;  dedicated on Nov. 11, 1993, it is a part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in National Mall.

In the Vietnam War, women served both military and civilian roles. One of the most frequent civilian jobs was as a nurse in the US Army, Air Force or Navy. The women were not safe by any means, even sometimes going into bunkers to care for wounded soldiers.

The Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation established the monument. It provides an excellent way to educate the public about the role of US females who served in the war. While many people think immediately of the male combat soldiers who jeopardized their lives in the war, these women were also part of the war efforts and heroes in their own right.

Glenna Goodacre sculpted an amazing piece of art when she crafted the Women’s Memorial. It is a creative design as it does not focus solely on one point in time or one person. It features a woman taking care of a wounded male soldier, a woman praying (hidden in the top post photo) and there is a fourth figure, which is a woman looking thoughtfully into the distance. Perhaps the latter woman is pondering the tragedies of war, including death, depression and PTSD.

Close-up view of the memorial

Close-up perspective of the bronze Vietnam Women’s Memorial. Photo Source: kalacaw, CC BY 4.0, via Flickr

When the bronze statue was first dedicated in 1993, it was the first national monument that paid tribute to women veterans. On the dedication day, there was a women’s march and several other scheduled activities. The statue is part of a larger tribute to all veterans of the war, including the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall that has the names of 58,000 Americans killed in Vietnam etched into it.

The Vietnam Women’s Memorial aims to bring awareness to the American women who served in the Vietnam War, mourning those who lost their lives in the war as well as educating the public about the important female roles. The women were brave and caring. They are most deserving of this monument.

What are your thoughts on the unique design of the sculpture?

 

©2014 Christy Birmingham

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34 thoughts on “A Must-Read Guide: The Vietnam Women’s Memorial

  1. Really powerful!… Do you know why the sculptor chose to add two women instead of one?.
    By the way, great new blog layout!
    Thanks for sharing Christy, best wishes and hugs to you,
    Aquileana 🙂

  2. I agree with Aquileana – great layout. And I really appreciate your theme of celebrating women’s contributions over the centuries. We have big shoes to fill – I pray for big feet! 🙂

  3. A beautiful and a great tribute to the brave US women who served in the Vietnam War. As an ex-soldier myself I salute them.

    Many thanks Christy!

  4. I was at the Wall this past Memorial Day weekend. It was nighttime and a group of students and their teacher was around the Women’s Memorial you have pictured here, so my husband and I didn’t get close to it. I had no idea what it actually was until reading your post, so thanks.

  5. Thanks for celebrating forgotten women. Isn’t always, the woman at the helm, the glue which holds others together? ❤ 🙂 Great page Christy. xo

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  7. I love it, and I didn’t know you had this blog. I love the fact that a Women’s Memorial was made, and the sculpture is exceptional; the feeling of compassion and love of the woman assisting the wounded shoulder is eloquent and well conveyed. Thanks for these news!

  8. Started crying and couldn’t stop the first time I saw this. I was chaperoning a group of 6th grade girls who looked at me like I was not only a space alien, but a crazy space alien.

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