Most Americans who read this summary will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War produced. To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces and we feel the pain that these numbers created. We the living Vietnam veterans are haunted by these numbers, and will continue to be until we too pass away. They were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.
There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010. The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. Beginning at the apex on panel 1E and going out to the end of the East wall, appearing to recede into the earth (numbered 70E - May 25, 1968), then resuming at the end of the West wall, as the wall emerges from the earth (numbered 70W - continuing May 25, 1968) and ending with a date in 1975. Thus the war's beginning and end meet. The war is complete, coming full circle, yet broken by the earth that bounds the angle's open side and contained within the earth itself.
Following are some statistics from the Vietnam War Memorial:
39,996 soldiers on the Wall were 22 years old or younger.
33,103 soldiers were 18 years old at the time of their death.
8,283 soldiers were 19 years old at the time of their death.
2,415 casualties occurred during the month of May, 1968 marking the worst month during the Vietnam War.
1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day.
997 soldiers were killed on their first day.
245 casualties occurred on January 31, 1968 marking it as the worst day of the Vietnam War.
244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.
31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.
8 women are on the Wall, nursing the wounded.
3 sets of fathers and sons reside on the Wall.