Our Partner Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s Leader Jan Scruggs to Retire:

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The regal slab of polished granite that reflects the Washington Monument and brings battle-hardened men to tears was once as controversial as the war it memorializes.

In 1981, the design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was met with howls of protest, a campaign to undermine it, racist comments and even a spurious Red Scare.

At the center of the politicized melee, which aggravated a still-raw national wound just six years after the end of the war, was an unassuming Labor Department investigator named Jan Scruggs. No one had heard of him until he took a week off to start planning what would become one of the most recognizable monuments in the country.

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Article By Heath Druzin, Stars and Stripes

Published: June 29, 2015