Frequently Asked Questions

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

How many names are on the wall?

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 10, 1982, with 57,939 names. Since then, 379 names have been added, for a total of 58,318 (as of Memorial Day 2017).

What happens to items left at the memorial?

Items are gathered by park staff. Non-perishable items are archived in a storage facility.

Is the collection open to the public?

While the collection is not open to the public, Items Left at The Wall is a virtual collection of nearly 500 items left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that can be seen at

How are the names arranged on the wall?

The names are arranged chronologically by date of casualty. The first names appear at the center of the wall at the top of panel 1E. The panels are filled like pages of a journal listing the men and women's names as they fell. Upon reaching the farthest east end of the memorial at panel 70E, the pattern continues from the far west end of the memorial at panel 70W, continuing back to the center at panel 1W. In this manner, the memorial evokes a theme of closure or completion; the first are with the last.


NPS / Nathan King


How can I find a name on the memorial?

Printed registries available at the memorial are organized alphabetically by last name. Electronic registries available online or accessible by park staff in the information kiosk at the memorial allow users to search by several data including first name, last name, branch of service, rank, date of birth, date of casualty, state and/or city where they enlisted. Registry entries include a panel number and row number that correspond to its location in the memorial (see graphic above). Panel numbers are engraved in the memorial at the bottom of each panel. For row number, count down from the highest row on the panel. Each row contains five names (six where a name has been added since the wall was originally installed). If you require assistance, contact a park ranger or volunteer at the memorial.

Last updated: November 29, 2017

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