Why Are There So Many Copies of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall?

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A man visits the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall on Veterans day in Washington November 11, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RTS6HPU
A man visits the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall on Veterans day in Washington November 11, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RTS6HPU
A man visits the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall on Veterans day in Washington November 11, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria – RTS6HPU

The U.S. Army needs a copy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and it needs it fast.

On Friday, the Army posted a solicitation for a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. The National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, needs a memorial—something just like the famous wall designed by Maya Lin—from March 16 to March 20. The bidding period ends on February 29.

Fort Irwin isn’t looking for a full-scale replica: This one should not be larger than 250 feet in length, or half the size of the (national) Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall on the National Mall. The replica will nevertheless bear all 58,300-plus names of veterans lost or missing in the war. For all intents and purposes, Fort Irwin is asking for a temporary national memorial of its own to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

“It’s our chance to say thank you to those who served and didn’t get a warm reception when they returned from war,” says Kenneth Drylie, interim director for public affairs for the National Training Center and Fort Irwin.

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