Items Left at The Wall

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currency, Thai

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 23556
  • Accession Date:9/22/1989
  • Item Summary:Government issue, ten (10) Baht Thai bank note, serial number 2H9723857. The note features a portrait picturing King Rama IX in formal regalia at the obverse and a depiction of the Buddhist temple Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram in the Dusit District of Bangkok at the reverse surface. The artifact was left at The Wall by an anonymous donor between August - September 1989.

sculpture, tortoise and crane

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 27326
  • Accession Date:11/27/1996
  • Item Summary:Vietnamese tortoise and crane sculpture. The artifact is modular and comprised of five (5) discrete segments of carved, lacquered, & gilded wood which, when fully assembled, represent a tall crane standing on the back of a tortoise. In Vietnamese culture, the tortoise ("Quy" or "Rua") represents the double symbol of heaven and earth. Its oval and convex shell represents the vault of heaven, while the square plaque at its under-surface symbolizes the surface of the earth. The tortoise is the emblem of longevity and perfection, and is generally represented with a coral branch in its mouth, a crane on its back, and a box containing the sacred book of "Lac Thu" placed under its back. The crane on the back of the tortoise is the symbol of longevity, seen mostly in temples dedicated to Confucius, emperors, and local spirits. In principle, the symbol of the crane is not used in Buddhist pagodas. The tortoise is believed to live ten thousand (10,000) years and the crane one thousand (1,000) years; thus, the presence of this symbol in Vietnamese culture may be interpreted as, 'May you be remembered for one thousand years and may your cult endure for ten thousand years.' (Source: "What are four sacred animals of Vietnam?"- http://www.vietnampackagetour.com).

cover, M1 combat helmet


  • Catalog Number:VIVE 25049
  • Accession Date:11/3/1989
  • Associated Name(s) on The Wall: N/A
  • Item Summary:Military issue, M1 combat helmet cover. Handwritten inscriptions upon both reversible surfaces of the helmet cover range from allusions to enemy forces (e.g. "SPADE IS FOR DEATH TO THE V.C" & "FIND CHARLIE AND FIGHT LIKE HELL"), to references to the American socio-political environment (e.g. "1/2 THE WAY WITH LBJ", "THERE IS A BIGGER WAR IN THE STATES", & "FLOWER POWER WILL NOT STOP CHARLIE"), to American pop cultural references (e.g. "MARY POPPINS IS A HIPPIE", "GREENWICH VILLAGE", "DISNEYLAND", & "SUNSET STRIP"), to the perspective of the ordinary enlisted service member (e.g. "I AM A MEDIC IF YOU ARE WOUNDED AND SEE ME COMING SHOOT YOURSELF", "* General Fuck-up", & "Officers Suck"). The artifact was left at The Wall by an anonymous donor between September - November 1989.
  • Accession Group:VIVE-00068
  • Record Component Qty:1
  • Item Description:MILITARY ISSUE, M1 COMBAT HELMET COVER. THE OBJECT CONSISTS OF AN M1 COMBAT HELMET COVER COMPRISED OF COTTON CANVAS FABRIC PRINTED WITH A REVERSIBLE, MITCHELL CAMOUFLAGE PATTERN. THE OBJECT IS DOME-SHAPED WITH SIX (6) FABRIC EXTENSIONS PROTRUDING FROM THE BOTTOM EDGE OF THE FABRIC DOME FOR THE PURPOSE OF AFFIXING THE HELMET COVER TO THE STEEL POT HELMET SHELL. THE CAMOUFLAGE PATTERN AT THE EXTERIOR SURFACE OF THE HELMET COVER IS GREEN COLORED SPRING/SUMMER FOLIAGE, WHILE THE PATTERN AT THE INTERIOR SURFACE OF THE HELMET COVER IS KHAKI COLORED FALL/WINTER FOLIAGE. BOTH THE INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR SURFACES OF THE HELMET COVER EVINCE HANDWRITTEN INSCRIPTIONS IN BLACK, GREEN, & RED MARKER/BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS. THESE INSCRIPTIONS RANGE FROM ALLUSIONS TO ENEMY FORCES (E.G. "SPADE IS FOR DEATH TO THE V.C" & "FIND CHARLIE AND FIGHT LIKE HELL"), TO REFERENCES TO THE AMERICAN SOCIO-POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT (E.G. "1/2 THE WAY WITH LBJ", "THERE IS A BIGGER WAR IN THE STATES", & "FLOWER POWER WILL NOT STOP CHARLIE"), TO AMERICAN POP CULTURAL REFERENCES (E.G. "MARY POPPINS IS A HIPPIE", "GREENWICH VILLAGE", "DISNEYLAND", & "SUNSET STRIP"), TO THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE ORDINARY ENLISTED SERVICE MEMBER (E.G. "I AM A MEDIC IF YOU ARE WOUNDED AND SEE ME COMING SHOOT YOURSELF", "* GENERAL FUCK-UP", & "OFFICERS SUCK").
  • Associated Item Text: Text of the handwritten inscriptions upon both surfaces of the helmet cover is transcribed in full, as follows: [Interior, khaki colored surface, handwritten inscriptions] "FLOWER POWER WILL NOT STOP CHARLIE / Dimond [sic] is for money not enough!! / Don't Fight Tonight Call Riot Delight / Joe 68 / I'd RATHER BE AN A 3/C THAN A LIFFER [sic] / POST NO BILLS (Bill WHO) / HART [sic] IS FOR LOVE, NONE HERE / MARY POPPINS IS A HIPPIE / WHEN I DIE LAY ME FACE DOWN SO THE WORLD CAN KISS MY ASS / PLEASE MR. CUSTER / BE NICE G.I. / H.C.M. S_S / EAR ? / SPADE IS FOR DEATH TO THE V.C. / WOP POWER / 1/2 THE WAY WITH LBJ / FIND CHARLIE AND FIGHT LIKE HELL / Club Is For Luck Where is Mine / THERE IS A BIGGER WAR IN THE STATES / The Last Time I Saw Combat Vic Morrow Got Shot / I AM A MEDIC IF YOU ARE WOUNDED AND SEE ME COMING SHOOT YOURSELF / DO NOT FOLD SPINDEL [sic] OR MUTILATE / X MARKS THE SPOT X SOFT SPOT DO NOT TOUCH / MONTZ [beneath a hand-drawn graphic of a U.S. Air Force enlisted rank insignia- Airman First Class (A1C)]" / [Exterior, green colored surface, handwritten inscriptions] "GO NAKED / GREENWICH VILLAGE / Fuck Super "C" / * General Fuck-up / Officers Suck" / DISNEYLAND / BULLET HOLE ? / SUNSET STRIP / MARY POPPINS SUCKS DICKS"
  • Item Dimensions and Weight:
    • Item Weight: 100.0g
    • Item Length: 40.6cm
    • Item Width: 48.3cm
    • Item Height: N/A
    • Item Depth: 0.6cm (Thickness)
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Items left at The Wall - The Virtual Collection

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982. Shortly thereafter, visitors to the Memorial began leaving items in memoriam to those killed and missing service members listed on The Wall. These artifacts now collectively comprise the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection -- a museum collection of more than 400,000 items held in the public trust by the National Park Service. Today, this Collection is among the largest and most actively researched collections in the National Capital Region.

The Collection is jointly curated by National Mall and Memorial Parks and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF). The VVMF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies upon public donations to continue its work, and receives no federal funding.