The Vietnam War was one of the signal events of the last half of the 20th century. It was controversial, and the controversy continued long after the war ended.
The Vietnam Memorial Wall itself was the subject of much debate. When the design was unveiled, many felt it was not "monumental" enough, but, since its unveiling, it has become an icon, a fitting and moving memorial to the more than 58,000 American military personnel who died during the war.
The wall has a particular Memphis connection: a Memphis firm, Binswanger Glass, inscribed every one of the names on it. When the company was sold a few months ago, they graciously donated the architect's sample to the Pink Palace Museum. This sample was done as a test to make sure that every detail of the very precise engraving was exactly right.
The architect's sample of the Vietnam Memorial Wall will be on exhibit at the Pink Palace Museum from Veterans Day through the end of 2011, a silent testament to a special Memphis connection to the Vietnam War.