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

Vietnam women's memorial in Washington
The Vietnam Women’s Memorial. Photo 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. And 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.

About the Female Sculptor

Glenna Goodacre sculpted an amazing piece of art when she crafted the Women’s Memorial. What she created is a design that 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 of the Vietnam women's memorial
Close-up perspective of the bronze Vietnam Women’s Memorial. Photo by 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. Then, on the dedication day, there was a women’s march and several other scheduled activities. Furthermore, this 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.

Final Words on the Vietnam Women’s Memorial

The Vietnam Women’s Memorial tells an important story of heroes, as do challenge coins. 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?

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

    1. Christy Birmingham

      I agree with your words, Lydia! Thank you for making time. I hope you are doing well xx

  1. 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.

    1. Christy Birmingham

      Ah yes the alien crier… we have all been in that position of crying and others not realizing why we do so… I am glad you were open with your emotion as that is the healthiest route.

  2. 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!

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  4. Thanks for celebrating forgotten women. Isn’t always, the woman at the helm, the glue which holds others together? <3 :) Great page Christy. xo

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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! :)

  8. 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 :)

    1. Hi Aqui,
      Firstly, thanks for noticing the new layout! It’s a new theme came out earlier in the month. :)

      As to the two women, I believe it is to show more than one single moment; during the war the woman is caring for the soldier, while after the war the woman is reflecting in the distance (those are the two women).

      Thank-you for your wonderful comment here and all of your support. I send many hugs!

    2. That is a certainly very interesting and clever interpretation.
      You left me speechless… I ‘d better abdicate :P

      Best wishes, Aquileana :D

    3. There are actually three women who are part of the statue–Faith, Hope, and Charity, which has biblical significance, if I recall correctly…i suppose I could google it but so can anyone….two women or three, it’s a marvelous work.

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