Items Left at The Wall

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letter & poem, handwritten

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 00657
  • Accession Date:2/12/1985
  • Item Summary:Handwritten note & poem dedicated to U.S. Army Sergeant (SGT) William Reed Stocks. The handwritten note is from SGT Stocks' mother Eleanor Wimbish, is headed, "William R. Stocks", is addressed, "Dear Bill", is signed, "Mom", and states that, "Below is a poem that will show how much I miss you, how much I hurt and how much I still love you." The handwritten note is accompanied by two (2) photocopied black & white photographic prints depicting SGT Stocks as a twenty-one (21) year-old serviceman in Vietnam and as a nine (9) year-old child, respectively. Ms. Wimbish begins the handwritten poem by reminiscing about important days in SGT Stocks life and speculating as to which day she would choose to spend with him if she could live life over again, recalls the heartbreak and grief of his passing and notes that she would not choose any of the days associated with his military service or the notification of his death to experience a second (2nd) time, and concludes her poem with the lines, "So never again will my arms hold you tight for you've gone to your / home in the sky. / So until God calls me to be with you there, in my heart you'll / be ever alive!" The artifact was left at Panel 32W of The Wall by Eleanor Wimbish, mother of SGT Stocks, between November 1984 - February 1985.

insignia, U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division shoulder sleeve

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 00660
  • Accession Date:2/12/1985
  • Item Summary:Military issue, cloth patch U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division shoulder sleeve insignia, subdued. The insignia consists of an od green square bearing an embroidered design comprised of a black disk surmounted by the acronym, "AA". The double, "A" of the insignia refers to the nickname, "All American Division" adopted by the organization in France while serving during World War I. The shoulder sleeve insignia was authorized for use by the 82nd Division by the Adjutant General, American Expeditionary Force on 21 October 1918, and was confirmed by the Adjutant General on 8 July 1922. The insignia was re-designated for the 82nd Airborne Division and an Airborne Tab authorized on 31 August 1942. The artifact was left at The Wall by an anonymous donor between November 1984 - February 1985. (Source: The Institute of Heraldry- http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil)

insignia, U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division shoulder sleeve


  • Catalog Number:VIVE 00659
  • Accession Date:2/12/1985
  • Associated Name(s) on The Wall: N/A
  • Item Summary:Military issue, cloth patch U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division shoulder sleeve insignia, subdued. The insignia consists of an od green square bearing an embroidered design comprised of a black disk surmounted by the acronym, "AA". The double, "A" of the insignia refers to the nickname, "All American Division" adopted by the organization in France while serving during World War I. The shoulder sleeve insignia was authorized for use by the 82nd Division by the Adjutant General, American Expeditionary Force on 21 October 1918, and was confirmed by the Adjutant General on 8 July 1922. The insignia was re-designated for the 82nd Airborne Division and an Airborne Tab authorized on 31 August 1942. The artifact was left at The Wall by an anonymous donor between November 1984 - February 1985. (Source: The Institute of Heraldry- http://www.tioh.hqda.pentagon.mil)
  • Accession Group:VIVE-00005
  • Record Component Qty:1
  • Item Description:MILITARY ISSUE, CLOTH PATCH U.S. ARMY 82ND AIRBORNE DIVISION SHOULDER SLEEVE INSIGNIA, SUBDUED. THE OBJECT CONSISTS OF AN OD GREEN & BLACK FABRIC PATCH IN THE FORM OF AN OD GREEN SQUARE WITH AN EMBROIDERED OD GREEN EXTERIOR BORDER, AND BEARING EMBROIDERED OD GREEN, BLOCK LETTERS SPELLING THE ACRONYM, "AA" INSIDE AN EMBROIDERED BLACK CIRCLE AT THE CENTER OF THE SQUARE. THE INSIGNIA IS PRESENTLY MISSING A TYPICALLY AFFIXED, ARCHED TAB BEARING THE EMBROIDERED PHRASE, "AIRBORNE" IN ARCHED, BLOCK SCRIPT. THE REVERSE OBJECT SURFACE CONSISTS OF A CLEAR, ADHESIVE BACKING MATERIAL. A LENGTH OF LOOSE, OD GREEN THREAD (APPROX. 5.0CM), ALSO REFERRED TO AS A, "PIGTAIL", IS OBSERVED ISSUING FROM THE LOWER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CORNER OF THE REVERSE OBJECT SURFACE AND IS PRESENTLY AFFIXED TO THAT SURFACE VIA A SMALL STRIP OF ADHESIVE MASKING TAPE. THE DOUBLE, "A" OF THE INSIGNIA REFERS TO THE NICKNAME, "ALL AMERICAN DIVISION" ADOPTED BY THE ORGANIZATION IN FRANCE WHILE SERVING DURING WORLD WAR I. THE SHOULDER SLEEVE INSIGNIA WAS AUTHORIZED FOR USE BY THE 82ND DIVISION BY THE ADJUTANT GENERAL, AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE ON 21 OCTOBER 1918, AND WAS CONFIRMED BY THE ADJUTANT GENERAL ON 8 JULY 1922. THE INSIGNIA WAS RE-DESIGNATED FOR THE 82ND AIRBORNE DIVISION AND AN, "AIRBORNE" TAB AUTHORIZED ON 31 AUGUST, 1942. (SOURCE: THE INSTITUTE OF HERALDRY- HTTP://WWW.TIOH.HQDA.PENTAGON.MIL)
  • Associated Item Text: Text of the embroidered inscription upon the obverse object surface is transcribed in full, as follows: "AA"
  • Item Dimensions and Weight:
    • Item Weight: 4.2g
    • Item Length: 6.0cm
    • Item Width: 6.0cm
    • Item Height: N/A
    • Item Depth: N/A
  • Item Notes:THE INSIGNIA IS PRESENTLY MISSING A TYPICALLY ACCOMPANYING "AIRBORNE" TAB.
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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.