Something that is often overlooked is the importance of paper notes and letters at memorials. I recently visited Washington D.C. and I saw all of the memorials downtown. One thing I noticed was all of the handwritten notes, letters, and poems that are left at the memorials, especially at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
People travel from all over the world and visit this memorial. These letters were from family members, friends, and complete strangers. Writing a note, letter, or poem is a way to say thank you and pay tribute to those for whom the memorial represents.
According to the National Parks Service’s website, leaving objects at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial has been a tradition since the 1980s.
Now you may be wondering what happens to all of the objects that are left. According to the National Parks Service’s website, each night, Park Rangers collect and inventory all of the items that are left at the memorial. The items make up a museum collection. The first collection had 554 objects. There are now over 50,000 items in the collection.
Seeing all of the paper, notes, letters, and mementos at the memorial was awe-inspiring. It makes the memorial come to life. Have you ever left a piece of paper, handwritten note, or poem at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial or a different memorial? Was the letter for a specific person or for everyone the memorial is dedicated to?
Check out this article below to see pictures and descriptions of some of the items that have been left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Notice how some form of paper note or letter appears with most of the objects.
- Things Left At The Vietnam Memorial Through The Years(buzzfeed.com)