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July 04, 1993|CHARLES SOLOMON

THE WALL: A Day at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Peter Meyer and the editors of Life (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's Press: $15.95; 96 pp., illustrated, paperback original). Maya Ying Lin's brooding, black granite chevron has become the most-visited monument in Washington D.C. attracting more than 2.5 million visitors each year. A group of writers and photographers from Life recorded 24 hours at the Wall on Aug. 4-5, 1992. They discovered poignant stories of veterans and their families, foreign tourists and children, many of whom take rubbings of a name or leave mementos that range from flowers and letters to military decorations. A visiting Englishwoman summarizes the impact of the monument when she observes, "I find the Wall very moving. One feels a sense of such waste. What did they die for?"

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