Other displays will highlight some of the more than 100,000 items left at The Wall.
The exhibits will include images of U.S. service members from all wars, including present military conflicts.
Renderings by Ralph Appelbaum Associates
Today at a Capitol Hill news conference hosted by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, world-renowned exhibition designer Ralph Appelbaum provided a first glimpse of the exhibits planned for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center, an underground facility slated for the National Mall near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
“The Center will be a place that reveals the human dimension of the war and honors the value of service and the bonds of loyalty and friendship,” said exhibit designer Ralph Appelbaum. “It will allow a new generation of visitors to better understand the human experience of war and the web of lives affected.”
During the presentation, Appelbaum spelled out the specific goals of the Center:
*Enhance the Memorial experience
*Honor those who died
*Put faces with the names of those memorialized on The Wall
*Encourage younger visitors to learn more
He explained how listening, learning, research and discussion with distinguished Vietnam veterans, authorities in charge of the National Mall and everyday Americans have resulted in a clear concept for the Center. And, he showed visuals illustrating the main components of the planned exhibits:
Faces of Service Members: A wall of photos of fallen service members who had their birthday on that particular day, along with any images, letters or other remembrances left at The Wall for that individual.
Display of Values: Words such as Respect, Loyalty, Courage, Duty, Service, Honor and Integrity, combined with excerpts from letters of fallen service members that convey those concepts.
Artifacts Collection: A dramatic series of glass cases that contain selections of the more than 100,000 items that have been left at the Memorial – including personal letters home from men and women in uniform.
Timeline: A factual chronology of military events to give an overview of the span of the war and the key actions.
History of the Memorial: A visual and written history of The Wall and the way it has uniquely influenced the way Americans memorialize and pay tribute.
Resource Center: Interactive stations where visitors, specifically young people, can access additional information.
Legacy of Service: A visual connection between those who served in Vietnam and all Americans in uniform, past and present.
“The Center will be the home of some of the personal items that have been left at the Memorial and that illustrate the loss and grieving—they are eloquent examples of love and friendship,” Appelbaum added. “Here, we give each name a face and explore the universal bond among all veterans of war.”