In March 1999, I Visited the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D. C. – November 11, 2020

I was in Arlington, Virginia for a conference in late February/early March 1999. The conference ended daily at 5 P. M. Evening meal was free if we stayed until about 7 P. M. to get served. After that, we were on our own. I don’t remember the exact date in March, but a group of us wanted to see the Vietnam Wall. It was towards the end of the conference. We took the Metro to D. C. and went looking for the Wall. This was before things like modern conveniences where we could pull up the location on our cell phones. After stopping three different groups of people, we finally found someone who know where it was. They left out a key ingredient – the side we were approaching from we couldn’t see the Wall. Here’s the website for the Wall – A short YouTube video of the Wall: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D C (about 2:32 minutes long).

Turns out it was street level from our direction. We eventually found it by taking a sidewalk that angled down. It was well past dark by this time. It was an inspirational moment as one of the group had lost her brother during Vietnam. We were able to find his name on the Wall using the book that had the location of the names. By the time we found the Wall, it was late. We spent probably 30 minutes there looking at the names. As we weren’t from the area, we somehow made it to one of the nearest Metro stations by looking around for a bit. We were able to make it back to the hotel before the last train ran.

We made another stop before going to the Wall, again stopping three groups before getting the correct directions for it. It took about 45 minutes to reach the Wall from the first stop as we had to deal with delays from wrong directions. Having had an uncle and first cousin who made it back from Vietnam, I realize either one could have been a name on the Wall had things turned out differently for them.

About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's
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1 Response to In March 1999, I Visited the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D. C. – November 11, 2020

  1. SLIMJIM says:

    The way they built that memorial where it can’t be seen from certain angles, seems to me to be appropriate capture of what the Vietnam war was seen as among some Americans then as an inconvenience, and also rather not be seen are the veterans and those who died and their sacrifices. Thanks for sharing this

    Liked by 1 person

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