Photographer's Note

Subject: Three Servicemen
Year: 1984
Sculptor: Frederick Hart
Location: Potomac Park
( Constitution Ave. & 23rd )

The Wall was not well-received when it was dedicated. Many felt it was too abstract and did not reflect military concepts; others felt it was not "human" enough. The committee that sponsored the Wall raised additional funds to erect this statue, known as "Three Servicemen."
The sculptor, Frederick Hart, was himself a combat veteran of World War II so he was able to capture realistically some of the experience of serving in a combat zone. The three servicemen are dressed in battle dress uniforms, carrying weapons. One is struck by their youth -- the average age of soldiers in Vietnam was 19. They are positioned so they are looking on the names of their lost comrades which appear on the Wall.
Most Vietnam veterans who view this statue feel it accurately depicts their experience.


"The Three Servicemen Statue at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial captures a full range of emotions. Taken as a whole, the statue symbolizes the spirit of compromise and reconciliation. Like the Vietnam War itself, the controversy over the creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial divided America while inflicting deep wounds among the veterans. The proposed design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial angered some Vietnam veterans and others who felt that it did not convey the heroism, patriotism, and honor inherent in most war memorials. To them, placement of the memorial below ground level hid it from view, while its color further hinted at a feeling of shame. They thought the memorial focused too much on death and loss. The Three Servicemen Statue was a compromise to that controversy, a compromise that sought to continue the healing of a nation."
(Taken from


When most people prefer to photograph this statue from front, I rather shot from the back as it makes me feel like I am in the same fighting trench. If you rather want to see the faces of the servicemen, here you go. Thanks.


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