Students have read about U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. In this activity
students will research national, state, and individual memorials that honor
Vietnam War veterans.
Students will use information from the Vietnam Veterans Memorials Around The
World Web site to learn about the many memorials that pay tribute to the veterans
of the Vietnam War. Students will read about and see photos of the Vietnam Veterans
Memorials in Washington, D.C., and several states' memorials. Students will
also find poems, drawings, and stories that memorialize Vietnam War veterans.
Students will then answer four questions and apply this information by designing
their own memorial to the Vietnam Veterans.
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of the domestic consequences of
U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
- Students will be able to use this knowledge to design a memorial to honor
the Vietnam War veterans.
Student Web Activity Answers
many traditional monuments to war veterans, the Vietnam memorials include
the names of those missing and killed in action.
- In several memorials, the POW-MIA flag flies with the American flag. In
Kentucky, a sundial shadow crosses the names of all those killed in action,
but not the names of those missing in action. Sometimes a separate stone is
carved with the POW-MIA emblem and placed at the monument. In Michigan, a
star next to the name on the memorial indicates that the veteran was missing
in action; a name with two stars next to it identifies a veteran who died
in captivity. At the Wall in Washington, D.C., an engraved diamond before
the veteran's name indicates that the he was missing in action.
- Visitors to the state and national memorials report being profoundly moved.
At several of the sites, visitors leave personal mementos such as birthday
cards, clothing, photos, letters, and other items. Visitors often create rubbings
of the engraved names when they visit the memorials that feature the names
of the veterans. Park rangers at the Wall collect and label items left at
the memorial daily, and several of these are described at this Web site.
- The dates listed on the wall in Washington, D.C., are 1959 and 1975. The dates cover a greater expanse of time than the official dates of the Vietnam War because American troops were actually present in Vietnam and suffered casualties long before the first major troop deployments took place in 1965. Likewise, American forces continued to suffer casualties in Vietnam for years after the ceasefire of 1973.
- Students' memorials will vary.
Go To Student Web Activity