What was the issues of Maya Lin art design at the memorial for the Veterans of the Vietnam War?

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC has attracted attention and contention since its inception.

Maya Lin designed a memorial that did not, in any way, follow the pattern of other memorials in memory of other wars in other places. Instead of portraying a moment of action or marking the achievement of a particular leader of the fighters, Lin's design focused on the divisive effect of the Vietnam War upon the citizens of the United States and on the lost lives during the conflict.

Aside from those who did not understand or appreciate the symbolism of her design, her Asian heritage was considered by some as being connected with the location of the events being remembered by the Memorial. This angered those who wanted the memorial to Americans who died in Vietnam to be designed by an American.