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The National Mall in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
A Legacy of Healing and Hope
Vietnam Women's Memorial
 
A Legacy of Healing and Hope Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, May 23, 2008
1. A Legacy of Healing and Hope Marker
 
Inscription. Over 265,000 American women served during the Vietnam era (1956 through 1975) and over 11,000 saw duty in Vietnam. The majority served as nurses, caring for thousands of wounded servicemen in the difficult conditions of crowded transports, harsh weather, difficult terrain, and long hours. Between 1964 and 1973, dedicated nurses tended to over 100,000 wounded, saving nearly 98 percent of those who eventually reached hospitals.

The Memorial
Inspired to tell the story of all Vietnam-era women, former Army nurse Diane Carlson Evans worked with thousands of veterans to create the Vietnam Women's Memorial. Dedicated on November 11, 1993, Glenna Goodacre's sculptural grouping joins the national "circle of healing" that begins at the Three Servicemen Statue, and continues past the Wall and the Women's Memorial to the In Memory plaque.

This first memorial in the nation's capital to honor the military service of women completes the public tribute to the veterans of the Vietnam War. The names of seven Army nurses and one Air Force nurse appear on the Wall. The eight trees surrounding this memorial mark their sacrifice.
 
Erected by National Mall & Memorial Parks, Washington, D.C. - National Park Service - Department of the Interior.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the
 
Vietnam Woman's Memorial Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, May 23, 2008
2. Vietnam Woman's Memorial
 
Markers Attached to Sculpture marker series.
 
Location. 38° 53.428′ N, 77° 2.882′ W. Marker is in The National Mall, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Henry Bacon Drive and Constitution Avenue, NW (U.S. 50), on the right when traveling north on Henry Bacon Drive. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20037, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Vietnam Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Alaska and Hawaii (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); National Academy of Sciences (about 700 feet away); Lincoln Memorial (about 700 feet away); Albert Einstein - The Einstein Memorial (about 700 feet away); Pharmacists' War Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Korean War Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); John Ericsson Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in The National Mall.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a photograph of an awards ceremony captioned: During the Vietnam War, many military women received meritorious service awards like the Purple Heart, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and the Air Medal.

In the lower center and right are photographs of service women on duty. Over one thousand women were employed as photojournalists, clerks, typists, intelligence officers, translators, flight controllers, and band leaders. Despite the lack of national recognition, these women demonstrated courage, commitment, and sacrifice.

Civilian military women supported American efforts by tending to the sick, wounded, and orphaned. Following long hours of assigned duties, many women volunteered their free time to MedCAP (Medical Civil Assistance Program) activities.
 
Vietnam Woman's Memorial Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, May 23, 2008
3. Vietnam Woman's Memorial
In the sculpture, as one women aids a wounded soldier, the other looks skyward as if anticipating an helicopter "dust-off" medivac. Some have interpreted this as a metaphor - searching for the support of a higher power or from the nation to aid in the healing.
 

 
Regarding A Legacy of Healing and Hope. The eight service women who died in the Vietnam War are Mary Therese Klinker, Eleanor Grace Alexander, Hedwig Diane Orlowski, Carol Ann Elizabeth Drazba, Elizabeth Ann Jones, Pamela Dorothy Donovan, Annie Ruth Graham, and Sharon Ann Lane. Klinker was the Air Force nurse of the eight.
 
Also see . . .
1. Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation. The Vietnam Women’s Memorial was established not only to honor those women who served, but also for the families who lost loved ones in the war, so they would know about the women who provided comfort, care, and a human touch for those who were suffering and dying. (Submitted on May 23, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. American Military and Civilian Women Who Died in Vietnam. From the Virtual Wall. Details regarding the eight military women and additional information about some of the American civilian women who died during the course of the Vietnam War. (Submitted on May 23, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

3. The Sculptor's Explanation of the Figures. A copy of Glenna Goodacre's explanation of the sculpture given at the time of dedication. (Submitted on May 23, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Vietnam Woman's Memorial Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, May 23, 2008
4. Vietnam Woman's Memorial
The kneeling women displays emotions of despair and helplessness. The figure has been called the "heart and soul" of the memorial.
 
 
A Legacy of Healing and Hope Memorial Day 2008 Photo, Click for full size
By Tabitha Preast, May 26, 2008
5. A Legacy of Healing and Hope Memorial Day 2008
 
 
A Legacy of Healing and Hope Memorial Day 2008 Photo, Click for full size
By Tabitha Preast, May 26, 2008
6. A Legacy of Healing and Hope Memorial Day 2008
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on May 23, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,637 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 23, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   5, 6. submitted on May 27, 2008, by Tabitha Preast of Hanover, Maryland.
 
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