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Offerings at the Wall: Artifacts from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection

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Since its dedication on Veteran's Day, 1982, more than 35,000 offerings have been left at the Wall, in a variety too wide to categorize easily. This selection of the objects is a recognition of the importance of this memorial as marking the beginning of our nation's recovery from its longest war. Includes a complete list of the names inscribed on the Wall. 300 color photos Since its dedication on Veteran's Day, 1982, more than 35,000 offerings have been left at the Wall, in a variety too wide to categorize easily. This selection of the objects is a recognition of the importance of this memorial as marking the beginning of our nation's recovery from its longest war. Includes a complete list of the names inscribed on the Wall. 300 color photos.


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Since its dedication on Veteran's Day, 1982, more than 35,000 offerings have been left at the Wall, in a variety too wide to categorize easily. This selection of the objects is a recognition of the importance of this memorial as marking the beginning of our nation's recovery from its longest war. Includes a complete list of the names inscribed on the Wall. 300 color photos Since its dedication on Veteran's Day, 1982, more than 35,000 offerings have been left at the Wall, in a variety too wide to categorize easily. This selection of the objects is a recognition of the importance of this memorial as marking the beginning of our nation's recovery from its longest war. Includes a complete list of the names inscribed on the Wall. 300 color photos.

30 review for Offerings at the Wall: Artifacts from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    The vets came back on the G.I. Bill In their field jackets and jeans Drank black coffee and smoked cigarettes And never spoke of what they'd seen Long black wall And nothing left to say Long black wall So many miles away* This book consists mostly of photographs of items left by grieving mourners at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The tributes are fairly heartbreaking, from Purple Hearts to rosaries, bazooka gum wrappers, a filled Easter basket, and a baby's pacifier. There is also information about how i The vets came back on the G.I. Bill In their field jackets and jeans Drank black coffee and smoked cigarettes And never spoke of what they'd seen Long black wall And nothing left to say Long black wall So many miles away* This book consists mostly of photographs of items left by grieving mourners at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The tributes are fairly heartbreaking, from Purple Hearts to rosaries, bazooka gum wrappers, a filled Easter basket, and a baby's pacifier. There is also information about how items are tagged and cataloged, with photos, and descriptions. Perhaps most sobering is the list of names from the wall. Though written in the tiniest print imaginable, the list goes on for forty-four pages. The man on TV said ten years had gone Today a monument was raised And when they wrote each name one at a time The roll of dead took four whole days Long black wall And nothing is the same Long black wall Shining in the rain Long black wall And nothing is undone Long black wall Sleeping in the sun* *Long Black Wall c1982 by Michael Jerling

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bill Lynas

    The Vietnam Wall monument in Washington DC is not just a place listing Americans who lost their lives in the war. Since it was built over 35,000 items have been left there & are now preserved by the National Park Services. This book of photographs (with occasional bits of text) shows a small selection of items left that reflect the sadness, regret & futility of war.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Justwinter

    Offerings at the Wall is a book of contradictions. The photography is beautiful, each 'offering' a captured still life: clean, pristine, preserved. Yet beyond the beauty and often heart-breaking simplicity of the items left behind, is pain and poignancy, sadness and pride that motivated those who were left alive to visit the wall and pay homage to a loved one, a family member, a friend. It's impossible not to become emotional as one looks through the images. I was struck again and again: someone l Offerings at the Wall is a book of contradictions. The photography is beautiful, each 'offering' a captured still life: clean, pristine, preserved. Yet beyond the beauty and often heart-breaking simplicity of the items left behind, is pain and poignancy, sadness and pride that motivated those who were left alive to visit the wall and pay homage to a loved one, a family member, a friend. It's impossible not to become emotional as one looks through the images. I was struck again and again: someone left this, someone brought this, someone loves this person, someone grieves for this person... page after page, it's a powerful tribute to the reality of loss. And yet, it's a book of immense beauty and love. Less tastefully presented, it could have felt morbid or intrusive. Instead, it documents a rarely seen collection of improvised tributes. And that perhaps more than anything, I found incredibly touching. These small gifts aren't just swept away and forgotten--as we so often do with things that are inconvenient or difficult. Instead, they were collected and preserved with sensitivity and the wisdom to know that sometimes the most powerful way to say something, isn't with words at all.

  4. 4 out of 5

    James

    A powerful book - it uses the messages and mementos left at the Vietnam War Memorial to tell pieces of the stories of many people and the relationships between those who were killed and those who were left behind. As a retired Marine, I wish more Americans, especially those who make the decisions about going to war, spent more time thinking about this side of it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    I purchase this after visiting the Vietnam Wall on a high school trip. The book displays items loved ones leave at the Wall to honor those who have died. From helmets, boots and dog tags to letters, flowers and pictures and a variety of in between.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    Awesome, absolutely awesome. I cried many tears. It brought back the emotions of that time in history. I've been to the wall and it's overwhelms.Next time I too will bring an offering. Awesome, absolutely awesome. I cried many tears. It brought back the emotions of that time in history. I've been to the wall and it's overwhelms.Next time I too will bring an offering.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    Some examples of the offerings: A single lady's shoe. Blank cartidges left from a rifle salute at the funeral. A marijuana cigarette. Mickey Mouse ears. Letters by friends of dead soldiers who had to wait many years before they could get the "courage" to make it to the wall. Two walnuts. A note with "SureYesDrillSergeant" written over 100 times. A baseball and glove with the note: "I've missed throwing the baseball to you. . . . " A field roster with the letters KIA and WIA listed next to many o Some examples of the offerings: A single lady's shoe. Blank cartidges left from a rifle salute at the funeral. A marijuana cigarette. Mickey Mouse ears. Letters by friends of dead soldiers who had to wait many years before they could get the "courage" to make it to the wall. Two walnuts. A note with "SureYesDrillSergeant" written over 100 times. A baseball and glove with the note: "I've missed throwing the baseball to you. . . . " A field roster with the letters KIA and WIA listed next to many of the names. Sexy woman's underwear. A menorah. The West Point class list of 1966 which lost 25 members in Vietnam. And the class of 1967 with 27 dead. A note that tells a story of an American soldier and an NVA soldier that confront each other but delay firing. The American fires first and kills the enemy soldier. He takes a photo of the dead man with his daughter out of his pocket. He lays the photograph down with an apology note. (Such items are now being returned to Vietnam in order to find the ancestors of the dead soldier.) A South Vietnamese flag passed around the nation and autographed by hundreds of veterans. Photo of a football team with two members circled as KIA. (I had two members of my summer basketball team killed in Vietnam.) A letter from Nancy and Ronald Reagan. Two cans of sardines that a special forces soldier owed a friend who died. Many Native American artifacts. A solid silver punch bowl and 26 cups. Two cups are inverted to represent the two pilots who died. Another cup on its side represents the recovery of only one man from a two man crew. A can of Spam. Letters from children. Love letters from wives and girlfriends. Letters from soldiers still searching for forgiveness. A gay pride flag. An agent orange flag. A package for mailing of cookies and Kool-Aid from Mom and Dad. Wedding rings from a wife who wants to forget this part of her life. Greek icons. Happy Fathers' Day notes. A letter honestly admitting to "the best Rush of my life": the thrill of killing. Now he is thankful no one is close to him. A boomerang with a "prayer that every soldier come back." Five cans of fruit cocktail left at five different places along the wall. A scribbled note with the words: "Over the distance of five thousand miles I heard your cry / of how very very much you did not want to die." Left by me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nic

    A touching collection of mementos left at The Wall.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Burkhalter-hamby

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kel

  11. 5 out of 5

    Karla Christopher

  12. 4 out of 5

    Wendi

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joan

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gil Burket

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  17. 4 out of 5

    C

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  19. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brigid

  21. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Bittersweet but a must read!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elsie James

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

  25. 5 out of 5

    ✨ Mel Snapp

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Phillips

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura Guzman

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sam Weller

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