When Diane Carlson Evans, a former army nurse in Vietnam, first saw the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, she felt something was missing. Her efforts to highlight the service of women in Vietnam were rewarded on November 11, 1993, when the Vietnam Women's Memorial was dedicated.
Vietnam Women's Memorial.The sculpture, designed by Texas native Glenna Goodacre, depicts three uniformed women with a wounded soldier. While one nurse comforts the soldier, another kneels in thought or prayer. The third looks to the skies - for help from a medevac helicopter, or perhaps from a higher power. Goodacre left the interpretation open so that people could read into it whatever they wished.
Support for the memorial came from all over. Letters poured into the Vietnam Women's Memorial Project, coming from both male and female veterans. Nurses spoke of the horror of war and the difficulty of talking to their friends about what they had seen. One said that in only a year, she had left behind her youth and her innocence. Soldiers remembered the nurses with love and affection - the kind smile, the gentle touch, the soft words that eased their pain. Parents spoke with gratitude of the nurses who had sent their sons home to them. Evans felt that without those nurses, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall would stretch for fifty miles.