ditto, she was still a student when she submitted her design. I recall when the Viet Nam memorial "committee" wanted to tart this masterpiece up with representational stuff that would have degraded the impact of this monument.
Ive been to the wall at least 75 times over the years and I get choked up each time. When Im in DC I go over to the wall to visit "horse", a friend from high school .We named him horse because of his strength and determination ("I gotta plow this row" his dad, a Pa Dutch Farmer, taught him to say that and he took it up as his life's motto). He joined up while the rest of us were seeking deferments and he died in 1971 in a firefight in which he rescued severl of his comrades before he was killed.
Ive a few other names there that were friends and acquaintances and each time I see a pack of Marlboros left in the trough beneath the names its a memory que that brings out the tears. The word "genius" comes to mind but Ive been told its overused, so Ill just say that she was a SUper "Empath" while she was working on the design
The only other memorials that had any impact even close to the Wall is the Alamo and the Arizona and they are more borne of respect for those honored dead than is a monument of my own time.