America’s Monuments | 58,000 Names | 6

America’s Monuments | 58,000 Names | 6

The Vietnam War was one of the most divisive conflicts in American history. Over 58,000 Americans died in the fighting; many more returned home with wounds both visible and hidden. 

When veterans lobbied for a memorial to honor American soldiers lost in Vietnam, a young college student named Maya Lin was picked from a blind competition to design it. Her unconventional vision would lead to a bitter dispute over the nature and purpose of public art in America — and how a nation heals its wounds after a collective loss. 

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