The Wall Poster
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C honours U.S. service members of the U.S. armed forces who fought, died or unaccounted for in the Vietnam War. Maya Lin, using a design of two walls 246 feet 9 inches long. The walls are sunk into the ground, with the earth behind them. The highest point is were the two walls meet and is 10.1 feet high, and taper down to a height of 8 inches. Stone was chosen for its reflective quality and came from India. The cutting was done in Vermont. With the names engraved, with the Optima typeface, was done in Memphis, Tennessee. The etching was completed using a photo-emulsion and sandblasting process. The negatives used in the process are in storage at the Smithsonian Institution. When a visitor looks upon the wall, his or her reflection can be seen simultaneously with the engraved names, which is meant to symbolically bring the past and present together. The wall listed 58,191 names in 1983; as of May 2011, there are 58,272 names. iMIA?POW are denoted with a cross. If the missing return alive, the cross is circumscribed by a circle (although this has never occurred as of March 2009); if their death is confirmed, a diamond is superimposed over the cross. According to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, "there is no definitive answer to exactly how many, but there could be as many as 38 names of personnel who survived, but through clerical errors, were added to the list of fatalities provided by the Department of Defence." Directories are located on nearby podiums so that visitors may locate specific names. Occasionally, visitors to the Wall will take a piece of paper and place it over a name on the wall and rub a pen or pencil over it. This is called "rubbing".