I went to the Vietnam Memorial wall today, and was quite moved by what I saw there.
I saw a black granite wound in the heart of a place that represents the United States, a wound that still has not healed. I saw a woman looking at panel 61E, at a particular name there, and crying softly as tourists flowed around her.
I saw a man in his sixties. He stood frozen in front of panel 41W, staring as if transfixed. His face was an expressionless mask as he reached out very, very slowly with one hand: and when his fingertips at last found the name of some lost buddy he had been seeking, his face broke, and he quietly wept. His wife stood behind him, with her hand on his shoulder, doing her best to be attentive to him.
I saw a black granite wound, but also a place where the mourning wounded can bring their grief; a place that can bring a measure of healing to those who make a pilgrimage to it.
God Bless Maya Lin.