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The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was opened in 1982 with the unveiling of Asian American architect Maya Ying Lin's wall. Its black granite surface is inscribed with more than 58,000 names of men and women who died during U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War (1961-1973). In 1984 the Three Servicemen Statue and Flagpole, by white sculptor Frederick Hart, was added. In 1993 the Vietnam Women's Memorial by white sculptor Glenna Goodacre completed the memorial. African Americans are depicted in both statues.

The memorial is intended to be a place of healing with no specific political point of view so that people of differing opinions about the Vietnam War can come together to honor and remember those who served.

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