Vietnam Memorial: A Thought Experiment submitted by @hpiccioto

the mallAbove: This is a tourist’s map of the Mall in Washington, DC. Notice the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial on the left. The Memorial is a powerful monument honoring the Americans who died in the Vietnam War. The name of each of the 58,000 American victims is engraved on the wall.

Below: This is a modified map of the Mall in Washington, DC. It includes an imaginary Vietnam Victims’ Memorial, built in the same style as the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, with the names of all who died in the Vietnam War, be they American or Vietnamese. Such a Memorial would need to be 37 times as long as the existing Memorial, even without including the Laotian and Cambodian victims.

the mall, imaginaryAccording to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

“More than 47,000 Americans were killed in action, nearly 11,000 died of other causes, and more than 303,000 were wounded in the war. Casualty figures for the Vietnamese are far less certain. Estimates of the ARVN’s casualties range from 185,000 to 225,000 killed and 500,000 to 570,000 wounded. The North Vietnamese and Viet Cong suffered about 900,000 troops killed and an unknown, but huge, number of wounded. In addition, more than 1,000,000 North and South Vietnamese civilians were killed during the war.”

Source: Vietnam Memorial: A Thought Experiment