Items Left at The Wall

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assemblage

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 02149
  • Accession Date:5/29/1986
  • Item Summary:Artifact assemblage dedicated to U.S. Marine Corps Captain (Capt) David Wendell Myers and consisting of a black & white newspaper clipping and an Albion High School varsity athletic letter. The newspaper clipping is from the, "Albion News" and consists of an article entitled, "Marine Captain David W. Myers / killed in Vietnam last Wednesday". The article provides a brief obituary of Capt Myers life, including: his 1956 graduation from Albion High School where he, "[...]lettered in football, basketball and track", his initial service in the Marine Corps (completed May 1964), his reenlistment in the Marine Corps on June 6, 1967, his receipt of three (3) Purple Heart Medals, and his death in a helicopter crash in Qsang Province, Vietnam just three (3) days prior to completion of his term of military service. The accompanying Albion High School varsity athletic letter bears affixed badging attesting to Capt Myers' success as a high school athlete, including multiple letters in the sports of football, basketball, and track. The artifact assemblage was left at The Wall by an anonymous donor in May 1986.

bracelet, commemorative POW*MIA

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 02363
  • Accession Date:3/25/1986
  • Item Summary:Commemorative POW*MIA bracelet dedicated to U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Michael John Masterson. The bracelet bears engraved inscriptions specifying Lt Col Masterson's military rank, name, & casualty date which read, "CAPT. MICHAEL MASTERSON / 10-13-68". The artifact was left at The Wall by an anonymous donor between February - March 1986.

letter, handwritten


  • Catalog Number:VIVE 02223
  • Accession Date:1/15/1986
  • Associated Name(s) on The Wall: BILLY D PEDINGS
  • Item Summary:Handwritten letter addressed to "Doc" and referencing U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 (CW2) Billy Dean Pedings. The letter is from a friend and fellow comrade, "Robert Shockley", and in content discusses the circumstances by which the author learned of CW2 Pedings' death in Vietnam while assuring Doc what a special guy CW2 Pedings was. The letter goes on to offer an apology that, "[...] we never got to meet back at the G.R.B. in Diego - but such is the luck of war", and informs Doc that the world has changed; i.e. that yuppies have replaced hippies, that short hair for women is in, and that a laughable movie (the "Rambo" film franchise) now depicts Vietnam veterans on the big screen. The letter closes with the lines, "Doc - we did have good times and I'll never forget them. / So long guy!" The artifact was left at The Wall along with another handwritten letter (VIVE (1808)) by Vietnam veteran Robert Shockley between December 1985 - January 1986.
  • Accession Group:VIVE-00018
  • Record Component Qty:1
  • Item Description:HANDWRITTEN LETTER WHICH REFERENCES U.S. ARMY CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER 2 (CW2) BILLY DEAN PEDINGS. THE OBJECT CONSISTS OF A LETTER HANDWRITTEN IN BLACK INK AND CURSIVE SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS UPON A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SHEET OF WHITE, LINED, FIVE (5)-HOLE PUNCHED SPIRAL NOTEBOOK PAPER. THE LETTER IS FROM, "ROBERT SHOCKLEY", IS ADDRESSED, "DEAR "DOC" ", AND SPEAKS TO THE ADDRESSEE ABOUT HOW LIFE HAS CHANGED FOR THE AUTHOR SINCE THE VIETNAM WAR, HIS SORROWS REGARDING THE LOSS OF HIS FRIEND BILLY (CW2 PEDINGS), HIS REGRETS ABOUT NOT GETTING TO MEET THE ADDRESSEE, "BACK AT THE G.R.B. IN DIEGO", AND HIS BEMUSEMENT ABOUT THE REPRESENTATION OF THE VIETNAM WAR IN FICTION (SPECIFICALLY, THE "RAMBO" FILM FRANCHISE). THE LETTER CLOSES WITH THE PHRASE, "DOC - WE DID HAVE GOOD TIMES AND I'LL NEVER FORGET THEM". THE OBJECT IS ASSOCIATED WITH VIVE (1808).
  • Associated Item Text: Text of the handwritten letter is transcribed in full, as follows: [Handwritten letter, obverse object surface] "Dear "Doc", / Well I finally got to say ta-ta to Billy - I still can't believe it has been 16 years - it seems like yesterday when he got orders to the Med and we went to Nam - I feel real shitty that the only time I saw him was that time his unit just got to Nam and we met the 2 nurses at that hospital - I herd [sic] he got it from a friend of mine on the medavac [sic] flight from Japan. / Billy was one special guy who dreamed of so many things - I only dreamed of going home. / I made it and he didn't. / Doc - I'm sorry that we never got to meet back at the G.R.B. in Diego - but such is the luck of war. / I wish that we had those times back - but what the hell would we do - we're 16 years older now - and so much has happened - I don't know where to begin to start - hippies are gone and something called yuppies are in. / Women are different and short hair is in! / Movies are being made about Nam and we could really laugh at them - Some guy called "Rambo" goes back to Nam" / [Handwritten letter, reverse object surface] "to free the POW's & MIA's - We could have won the war with this guy Rambo - but so much for fiction. / Doc - we did have good times and I'll never forget them. / So long guy! / "Shock" / Robert Shockley"
  • Item Dimensions and Weight:
    • Item Weight: 3.1g
    • Item Length: 26.5cm
    • Item Width: 20.25cm
    • Item Height: N/A
    • Item Depth: N/A
  • Item Notes:THE OBJECT WAS PREVIOUSLY DISPLAYED IN THE NEW JERSEY EXPLORER CHILDREN'S MUSEUM (NJECM) EXHIBITION (L.2009.1.VIVE).
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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.