Episode 1063 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature the impressions that were made upon a Vietnam Veteran during his first visit to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. David Hastings of Brush Prairie, Washington penned an essay about his first visit to the Wall titled: Everybody has a story: First visit to Vietnam War Memorial was emotional for soldier. It appeared in The Columbian of Vancouver, Washington (not British Columbia).
Back in 1979 when Jan Scruggs formed up the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. More than likely, he had no idea of what a tremendous impact he and his organization would have on the American psyche. Their intended mission was to do something to honor the memory and service of Vietnam Veterans. After a slow start they got into high gear with fund raising. In 1980, Maya Lin, a young American of Chinese descent who was an architecture student at Yale University at the time began work on a class project in a funerary course she was taking. The result of her work was a memorial design that was selected from more than 1,600 anonymous entries, including from celebrated architects.
Her design was not your everyday monument concept. It was black and underground. At first there were many detractors who derided the design as violating the sacrosanctity of the reverence the monument to the Vietnam Veteran’s service to country was supposed to produce.
Time has proven all the detractors wrong. Every year millions of visitors a year come to the Wall seeking a place of healing for veterans and those who love them. Most all Vietnam Veterans who visit the Wall come away with deeply held and varied impressions.
David Hastings was one of those veterans who at first had reservations about visiting the memorial but finally broke down and decided to go and experience what he had heard so much about from other veterans who had made visits.
Listen to episode 1063 and discover the amazingly compelling story of a Vietnam Veteran’s first visit to the Wall.