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My home town just hosted the traveling Vietnam War Memorial wall. I was very
curious to see it "out of context", and to observe if it seemed to have the
same impact as the real one. I truly didn't expect it to. It's made of
sheets of black acrylic, screwed to panels so not perfectly flat (a little
ripply). The type face used was not as nice, maybe Arial Condensed. Of
course it wasn't installed the same. And it was (some articles said half)
2/3 scale. The tallest panel was just about as tall as me.
Much to my surprise it might as well have been the real one. There were a
lot of people there, in the terrible heat, and it was nearly silent. On the
ground all along its base, families and friends had left flowers, notes,
photos, a little hot wheels car, and in the center was large buffalo skull
and a soapstone pipe tied with feathers. I could sense no difference in how
it felt to be there, or how people responded to this replica as to the real
So what does that tell me about the importance of scale, material, location,
installation, etc.? That meaning transcends beauty? any ideas?
PS- I also learned that my cousin was killed by hostile rocket fire, not a