Items Left at The Wall

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plaque, VVA memorial

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 16558
  • Accession Date:11/24/1987
  • Item Summary:Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Oakland County- Chapter 133 (Pontiac, Michigan) memorial plaque dedicated to U.S. Army Private First Class (PFC) Robert Archibald Sikon. The plaque bears affixed VVA Chapter 133 business cards as well as a handwritten dedication reading, "32E LINE 66 / SIKON ROBERT A. / I WILL BE BACK / BOB GALLO". The artifact was left at Panel 32E of The Wall by Bob Gallo between October - November 1987.

poem, printed

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 34970
  • Accession Date:11/24/1987
  • Item Summary:Printed poem. The poem is entitled, "MY WALL", is authored by, "Mark Hoplin", is dated, "1985", and reads (in part), "We came home on a jet, / watched our country forget. / Most all feel the pain, / a few even know shame. / I can not shed a tear, / perhaps I am not here. / My name is not there, / and I've looked everywhere. / I reflect in it's [sic] shine, / but this wall is not mine. / I have built my own wall, / and it is much to [sic] tall." The artifact was left at The Wall by U.S. military veteran Mark Hoplin between October - November 1987.

drawings, artwork


  • Catalog Number:VIVE 16984
  • Accession Date:11/24/1987
  • Associated Name(s) on The Wall: JAMES P RIGGINS
  • Item Summary:Three (3) artwork drawings dedicated to U.S. Army Sergeant (SGT) James Patrick Riggins. Two (2) of the drawings depict Vietnam-era American servicemen in the field, while the third (3rd) appears to be a profile portrait of SGT Riggins himself. A dedication handwritten upon the obverse surface of one of the drawings reads, "We Will never Forget You! / Los Fresnos Texas", while another drawing bears the title, "The nightmare". The artifacts were left at The Wall by anonymous donors between October - November 1987.
  • Accession Group:VIVE-00046
  • Record Component Qty:3
  • Item Description:THREE (3) ARTWORK DRAWINGS DEDICATED TO U.S. ARMY SERGEANT (SGT) JAMES PATRICK RIGGINS. THE FIRST (1ST) OBJECT CONSISTS OF A DRAWING EXECUTED IN RED INK IN A POINTILLISM STYLE UPON THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SHEET OF OFF-WHITE, UNLINED, SPIRAL NOTEPAD DRAWING PAPER. AT THE PROPER RIGHT-HAND SIDE OF THE FOREGROUND, THE DRAWING DEPICTS A SQUAD OF FIVE (5) AMERICAN SERVICEMEN DRESSED IN VIETNAM-ERA, MILITARY ISSUE FIELD ATTIRE (E.G. M1 COMBAT HELMETS, OG-107 TROPICAL COMBAT COATS & TROUSERS, INDIVIDUAL LOAD-CARRYING EQUIPMENT (ILCE), ETC.), WHILE MOVING IN A SINGLE FILE LINE IN FRONT OF A LINE OF DISTANT MOUNTAINS IN THE BACKGROUND AND A BELL UH-1 HUEY HELICOPTER IN FLIGHT OVERHEAD. AT THE PROPER LEFT-HAND SIDE OF THE FOREGROUND, THE DRAWING DEPICTS A LONE AFRICAN-AMERICAN SERVICEMAN (PRESUMABLY SGT RIGGINS [?]) DRESSED IN MILITARY ISSUE FIELD ATTIRE AND STARING DIRECTLY AT THE VIEWER. THE NAME, "JAMES P RIGGINS" IS HANDWRITTEN IN GRAPHITE PENCIL AND BLOCK SCRIPT AT THE LOWER, PROPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF THE DRAWING, ALONG WITH THE DEDICATORY PHRASE, "WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU! / LOS FRESNOS TEXAS." THE SECOND (2ND) OBJECT CONSISTS OF A DRAWING EXECUTED IN BLACK INK IN A POINTILLISM STYLE UPON THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SHEET OF WHITE POSTER BOARD. THE POSTER BOARD IS PRESENTLY AFFIXED TO THE REVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF A CUT SHEET OF TEXTURED, GREEN MAT BOARD (SO AS TO CREATE A VIEWING WINDOW FOR THE DRAWING AT THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE), VIA NUMEROUS STRIPS OF ADHESIVE MASKING TAPE. THE DRAWING DEPICTS AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN SERVICEMAN (MOST LIKELY SGT RIGGINS [?]) IN PROFILE AND FACING TO THE PROPER RIGHT-HAND SIDE, WHILE WEARING AN M1 COMBAT HELMET (WITH INSECT REPELLANT INSIDE THE HELMET BAND) AND SMOKING A CIGARETTE. THE NUMERIC PHRASE, "1825" IS HANDWRITTEN IN GRAPHITE PENCIL AND ARABIC NUMERALS AT THE CENTER OF THE REVERSE OBJECT SURFACE. THE THIRD (3RD) OBJECT CONSISTS OF A DRAWING EXECUTED IN BLACK INK IN A POINTILLISM STYLE UPON THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF A RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SHEET OF RED POSTER BOARD. THE DRAWING DEPICTS A GROUP OF FIVE (5) ARMED AMERICAN SERVICEMEN DRESSED IN VIETNAM-ERA, MILITARY ISSUE FIELD ATTIRE. THE MEN ARE PICTURED LEANING OVER A WOUNDED COMRADE, WHO LIES PRONE UPON THE GROUND, IN VARIOUS STAGES OF TENDING TO HIS INJURIES. THE PHRASE, "CONG CUTTER" IS EXECUTED IN BLACK INK AND POINTILLIST SCRIPT UPON THE OBJECT LEFT SIDE OF THE M1 HELMET OF THE FIGURE AT THE EXTREME PROPER LEFT-HAND SIDE OF THE DRAWING. THE ARTIST'S INITIALS, "GK" ARE EXECUTED IN BLACK INK AND POINTILLIST, BLOCK SCRIPT AT THE LOWER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE. AT THE UPPER, PROPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF THE REVERSE OBJECT SURFACE THE ARTWORK'S TITLE, "THE NIGHTMARE" IS HANDWRITTEN IN GRAPHITE PENCIL AND BLOCK SCRIPT.
  • Associated Item Text: Text of the handwritten & hand-drawn inscriptions upon the various object surfaces is transcribed in full, as follows: [Red ink drawing, obverse object surface, handwritten inscriptions] "James P RIGGINS / We Will never Forget You! / Los Fresnos Texas." / [Matted drawing, reverse object surface, handwritten inscription] "1825" / [Red poster board drawing obverse object surface, hand-drawn inscriptions] "CONG CUTTER / GK"/ [Red poster board drawing, reverse object surface, handwritten inscription] "The nightmare"
  • Item Dimensions and Weight:
    • Item Weight: 7.2g (Weight of red ink drawing only)
    • Item Length: 22.8cm
    • Item Width: 30.5cm
    • Item Height: N/A
    • Item Depth: N/A
  • Item Notes:Dimensions listed above are for the red ink drawing only. Measurements for the two (2) remaining drawings are as follows:

    [Matted drawing, single subject in profile]:
    25.5cm (L) X 20.4cm (W) X 50.0g (Weight)

    [Red poster board drawing]:
    30.4cm (L) X 22.7cm (W) X 18.2g (Weight)
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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.