Perhaps the most moving experience I've ever had was visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, The Wall, which celebrates its 29th anniversary today.
I was searching for one name amongst the 58,000 plus inscribed, the father of the girl I adored while in 8th grade, an Air Force Colonel killed in the air over Pleiku. One of the earlier ones, he was listed on Panel 6E.
I'd visited military cemeteries and battlefields, everything from large National Cemeteries to tiny long forgotten Civil War battlegrounds, in obscure out of the way places, before visiting the Memorial, but having arrived single mindedly it took a while for the power of the wall to set in. Planning to stay just long enough, only knowing three names, I was there several hours and could have spent all day there. If you do not have an opportunity to visit the Memorial, a traveling exhibit has been criss-crossing the country for the past 20 years. A searchable database of the names may be found here.
The Vietnam war feels a million years ago, but I wish everyone who has the power to send young people to war spends a day at the Wall before committing them.