Vietnam: Adding to the Wall

NEWSWEEK got an early look at plans for the recently approved Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center in D.C. Among the details: after entering the underground museum through a tunnel, visitors will see a huge video wall with larger-than-life photos of the men and women who died in Vietnam, set to fade in and out on their birthdays. From Army boots to baseball gloves to unopened packages addressed to dead soldiers, evocative artifacts from among the 85,000 left at the wall over the years will be displayed on a rotating basis. There will be a bookstore and library, but no movie theater--nor simulated paddy fields, as rumored. Disney consultants have been hired to study crowd flow at the museum, which isexpected to handle 350 at a time. Jan Scruggs, the decorated Vietnam vet who was the force behind the memorial and the museum, disagrees with critics who say the wall should stand alone. "Forty percent of the people who visit the wall are younger than the memorial itself, much less old enough to remember the war," he says.