The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. is one of the most visited monuments in the country. Open 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year, it is about America's involvement in Vietnam and a tribute to the 59,000+ men and women who paid the supreme sacrifice. It has received national acclaim following display by President Ronald Reagan on January 24, 1984, and as a result has sold in excess of 150,000 copies.
The Three Fighting Men is the larger than life sculprute by the late Frederick Hart and stands at the entrance to The Memorial. Three comrades, The Black, The Hispanic and The White Man stand sentry over the thousands of names.
The Vietnam Unknown is a poem about the internment of America's Vietnam Unknown who was buried with full military honors and awarded The Medal Of Honor by President Ronald Reagan on May 28, 1984 at The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
However, in 1998, Department of Defense scientists were able to produce an identifiable DNA sample from the remains of The Vietnam Unknown and he was eventually identified as 1st Lieutenant Michael Joseph Blassie United States Air Force.
Lt. Blassie a 24 year old graduate of The U.S. Air Force Academy and a pilot, was shot down on May 11, 1972 in An Loc South Vietnam.
Following identification of Lt. Blassie, The Pentagon stripped him of The Medal Of Honor. The MOH is awarded to The Unknown - and not a person by name. Subsequently, his family argued their case that for 14 years he was The Vietnam Unknown, and based on that criteria should be awarded The Medal Of Honor.
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