Re: Air Force Memorial, Art and Engineering
What the difference is, is the whole creative concept brought to fruition beautifully. Ms. Lin had to know that people would come to that wall, look up the names and connect in an emotional way with their friends, relatives and brothers in arms. No dry eye leaves that place. When you find the name you're looking for, see it, touch it, the connection and emotions are almost immediate.
The AF and Marine memorial in contrast are merely banal stylizations of occurances in the abstract that couldn't bring a tear to anyones eyes without a lot of thinking and visualization which would have nothing to do with the memorials.
It's the creative concept and the visual elements (the names) that makes it work. One key ingredient though is having living relatives/friends/vets (people who know what those names mean) who bring the physical connection to the wall. 100 years from now, when anyone who has any association with Vietnam is long dead and buried, the strong emotional connection will also die and the impact that it has today will be lessened.
The beauty of the Wall is that it is a direct emotional connection for everyone, whereas those other memorials add another layer to the thought process and don't directly relate to all but a few (the families of those Marines and Sailors on Suribachi, for instance).
Have a great day,