Where Mountains Stand Tall & Rivers Flow Free
Vietnam War Memorial Competition
The design honors the men and women of the American and South Vietnamese Armed Forces through a narrative journey of experiences, words, and images. The journey begins at an arrival plaza symbolizing the Sino-Vietnamese cosmological representation of the earth as a square with its four cardinal directions. At the plaza’s far end, a tall stone stela contains dedicatory text. The journey continues down a path lined with trees, that usher in spring with their blossoms, creating a ritual whereby visitors would visit the site during the time of renewal, just as people do during the Vietnamese New Year. The path of one’s journey ends at an overlook, whose elliptical-shape borrows from the traditional representation of the heavens as a boundless circle that offers closure.