The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the newer additions to the National Mall and is a powerful place to visit. The Memorial is comprised of three distinct sections: "The Wall," the Three Service Men Statue, and the Women in Service to the Vietnam War Statue. The purpose of this memorial according to the National Park's Service which maintains the entire National Mall is "to separate the issue of the sacrifices of the veterans from the U.S. policy in the war, thereby creating a venue for reconciliation."
"The Wall" is the focal point of the memorial, a 493-foot polished black granite wall inscribed with the names of the more than 58,000 Americans killed or missing during the Vietnam War. The wall is simple and austere, a controversial way of memorializing the war's casualties. However, the simple and starkly dramatic wall has become a national shrine, drawing more annual visitors than the Washington Monument or the Lincoln Memorial. The other two nearby sculptures also honor those who served in the war, a tribute to the spirit of compromise and reconciliation and the more than 11,000 women who served in the war.
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Interstate 395 provides access to the Mall from the south. Interstate 495, New York Avenue, Rock Creek Parkway, George Washington Memorial Parkway, and the Cabin John Parkway provide access from the North. Interstate 66, U.S. Route 50 and 29 provide access from the West. U.S. Routes 50, 1, and 4 provide access from the East.