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Posts Tagged ‘Vietnam Veterans Memorial’

In the orange glow of the sky, the trees cast their reflections on the black granite surface of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall.

It was a moment to reflect on the names of more than 58,000 men and women whose names are inscribed on the wall. I am old enough to remember the conflicted mood of the country at the time of that war.  In the late 1970’s I enlisted in the U.S. Army and served on active duty for twenty years. With that experience, I can’t help but be humbled by the memorial to the sacrifice of so many Americans for the common good.

Monuments_blog

From certain angles, I could see reflections of the Washington Monument in the wall. It proved to be very difficult, however, to capture that reflection in a photograph. I used my tripod and a long exposure, but never quite captured the feeling of the moment. I am posting one of those efforts as a kind of aspirational shot, one that I hope to shoot better in the future.

WashMonuWords

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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When most people think of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, they think only of the black granite wall with all of the names, but the Three Servicemen Statue is also part of the memorial.

Frederick Hart, the sculptor of these statues, described his work in these words (according to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund):

“The portrayal of the figures is consistent with history. They wear the uniform and carry the equipment of war; they are young. The contrast between the innocence of their youth and the weapons of war underscores the poignancy of their sacrifice. There is about them the physical contact and sense of unity that bespeaks the bonds of love and sacrifice that is the nature of men at war. And yet they are each alone. Their strength and their vulnerability are both evident. Their true heroism lies in these bonds of loyalty in the face of their aloneness and their vulnerability.”

I visited the memorial one evening this past weekend and took these photos of the statue. The first photo shows the torsos of the grouping (the statues themselves are full body, but I wanted to show the details of the upper bodies) and the others show the faces of each of the three soldiers.

Vietnam_trio_blogmachinegun_blogStatue 2Black_soldier_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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