NPR logo

Slices of Life at the Vietnam Memorial

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6603652/6603653" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Slices of Life at the Vietnam Memorial

U.S.

Slices of Life at the Vietnam Memorial

Slices of Life at the Vietnam Memorial

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/6603652/6603653" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The National Park Service has now collected 100,000 mementos left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Most have a touching story behind them.

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, host:

A milestone this week for the National Park Service. It has collected 100,000 mementos left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. If you've visited the site, you've seen the cards, candles and framed photos people have placed along the granite wall. The objects tell stories of the war, the dead and those left behind.

Among the offerings the park service has collected during the past 24 years - an empty champagne bottle with two goblets; a backpack full of rocks with a note attached that reads, Finally I am able to put down my load; a motorcycle with the names of 37 POWs and soldiers missing in action painted on it; and someone left behind a package of M&Ms. The candy first gained popularity with soldiers in World War II because it traveled well and melted in their mouths, not on their trigger fingers.

But Duery Felton, curator of the memorabilia at the Vietnam Memorial, told us another story. During the Vietnam War, he says, medics sometimes used M&Ms as placebos when they ran out of pain medication on the frontlines.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.