Maya Lin's design for this hugely evocative memorial takes the form of a black, low-lying 'V' – an expression of the psychic scar wrought by the Vietnam War. The monument descends into the earth, with the names of the war's 58,000-plus American casualties – listed in the order they died – chiseled into the dark, reflective wall. It's a subtle but profound monument – and all the more surprising as Lin was only 21 when she designed it.
To find a specific name, use the Directory of Names, located at both ends of the wall and arranged alphabetically. Alternatively, download 'The Wall' app. You can also search online at www.vvmf.org/wall-of-faces.
There are two other, far more traditional, parts to the memorial, both of which are cast in bronze and neither of which was designed by Lin: the Three Servicemen Statue and the Vietnam Women's Memorial.