Architect Discusses Impact of Vietnam Memorial

On the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam War Memorial, the artist and architect Maya Lin reflects on the impact of her design.

Maya Lin: "What I was trying to do was create a piece that presented a timeline, actually, in that sense, psychologically, any returning veteran will find their time on the wall. The people they knew."

"And you'll be surrounded by lost colleagues," she said. "If you pretend the pain never happened, if you pretend that they didn't go through this and you don't acknowledge this loss."

"Then we can never overcome it," she added. "There was always discussions at the start, 'Well, is a memorial relevant only to the time period?'"

"When, in a way, our era has kind of passed, how relevant will it be to the next generation? And I'm really beginning to see, with the younger groups, a way it engages. And I think one of the things is, there's a universality about it," Lin said. "I would hope that it always gives a moment to pause, that we absolutely cannot forget the high price of war."

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