Who would have thought of the general public as curators of a major museum collection — curators whose job is to choose objects which will be placed in a collection that will be preserved and interpreted for perpetuity.
This is exactly what has happened at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial where objects have been left by the public. Most museum objects are collected because they relate to a special event, person, or natural wonder.
The museum curator selects these specific objects to tell a story. However, in this case, it is the public who collects and leaves the objects left at the Wall. These objects reflect the experiences of over 25 million visitors who each have an individual reason or story that goes with the objects that are represented in this collection.
While these objects may have a central theme of the Vietnam War or Generation, the power of the Memorial and the individual stories behind these objects is really the focus of this collection.