We were humbled and honored to shoot scenes from UNKNOWN at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial here in Washington, D.C.
The memorial’s design by Maya Lin has a fascinating history and makes it one of the most reverent and recognizable locations on the National Mall. At the time, Lin was a 21-year-old college student who entered a nationwide search as part of her architecture class at Yale.
Maya Lin conceived her design as creating a park within a park — a quiet, protected place to provide peace and healing for visitors.
To achieve this effect she chose polished black granite for the walls. The mirror-like surface reflects the images of the surrounding trees and lawns.
The Memorial’s walls point to the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, thus bringing the Memorial into the historical context of our country.
The names are inscribed in the chronological order of their dates of casualty, showing the war as a series of individual human sacrifices and giving each name a special place in history.