Items Left at The Wall

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letter, printed

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 36660
  • Accession Date:9/28/1990
  • Item Summary:Printed letter. The letter is addressed, "Dear [blank]", is signed, "Yours In Christ / David", and opens with the line, "I have carried you around in my heart and my thoughts for so long now more than twenty years." In content, the letter is from a Vietnam veteran to a comrade whom the author barely knew, but who nonetheless died in a mortar strike upon a bunker in place of the author. An excerpt from the letter reads, "I do wish that I had known you so that I could have seen your mother or father, your wife and any children just to tell them that you were a good person. / But I didn't really know you except that I held you at a time when your life was ending. / I would have told them that your death was not in vain and that I owe you my life. / I thank you for your supreme gift." The artifact was left at The Wall by a Vietnam veteran and donor identified only as, "David" between July - September 1990.

rubbing, VVM name

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 01445
  • Accession Date:8/14/1985
  • Item Summary:Vietnam Veterans Memorial (VVM) name rubbing for U.S. Army Specialist 4 (SP4) Alfred Hightower, Jr. A note handwritten below the name rubbing reads, "I LOVE YOU DAD / 41W - 42W / Line 5". The artifact was left between Panels 41W & 42W of The Wall by the child of SP4 Hightower, Jr. between July - August 1985.

rubbing, VVM name


  • Catalog Number:VIVE 01366
  • Accession Date:7/18/1985
  • Associated Name(s) on The Wall: DONALD W PRATT
  • Item Summary:Vietnam Veterans Memorial (VVM) name rubbing for U.S. Marine Corps Second Lieutenant (2ndLt) Donald William Pratt. A note handwritten below the name rubbing reads, "I'm sorry, Don! / And I can't change anything for you - or for me. / Karl". The artifact was left at Panel 51 or 52E [?] of The Wall by a donor identified only as, "Karl" between June - July 1985.
  • Accession Group:VIVE-00012
  • Record Component Qty:1
  • Item Description:VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL (VVM) NAME RUBBING FOR U.S. MARINE CORPS SECOND LIEUTENANT (2NDLT) DONALD WILLIAM PRATT. THE OBJECT CONSISTS OF A RUBBED IMPRESSION OF THE VVM WALL HONOREE NAME, "DONALD W PRATT" EXECUTED IN GRAPHITE PENCIL AND BLOCK SCRIPT ALONG THE UPPER EDGE OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED, ROUGHLY TORN SEGMENT OF YELLOW, LINED NOTEBOOK PAPER. A NOTE HANDWRITTEN IN GRAPHITE PENCIL AND CURSIVE SCRIPT IMMEDIATELY BELOW THE NAME RUBBING AT THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE READS, "I'M SORRY, DON! / AND I CAN'T CHANGE ANYTHING FOR YOU - OR FOR ME. / KARL" THE VVM WALL LOCATION INFORMATION, "51E" IS HANDWRITTEN IN GRAPHITE PENCIL AND VERTICALLY-ORIENTED BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS ALONG THE PROPER RIGHT-HAND EDGE OF THE REVERSE OBJECT SURFACE.
  • Associated Item Text: Text of the rubbed & handwritten inscriptions upon the obverse and reverse object surfaces is transcribed in full, as follows: [Obverse object surface, rubbed & handwritten inscriptions] "DONALD W PRATT / I'm sorry, Don! / And I can't change anything for you - or for me. / Karl" / [Reverse object surface, handwritten inscription] "51E"
  • Item Dimensions and Weight:
    • Item Weight: 0.9g
    • Item Length: 8.5cm
    • Item Width: 21.4cm
    • Item Height: N/A
    • Item Depth: N/A
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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.