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Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 10/ 7/2010

New cracks found in the Vietnam Memorial

By Washington Post editors


A team of geophysicists has discovered a new series of cracks in the fabled black granite wall at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Mall.

The experts from Hager-Richter Geoscience Inc., were called in by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which built the wall, after earlier cracks were discovered several months ago.

The consultants began inspecting the polished wall Monday and discovered more cracks this week, the fund's founder, Jan Scruggs, said Thursday.

Most of the cracks are small _ a few inches in length _ and are scarcely visible to the average viewer. But the wall has a history of small cracks going back over 20 years.

Scruggs said the cause of the cracking is not yet clear. One theory is that the stone may actually bow outwards when heated by the sun. Scruggs said the surface of the stone can be 20 degrees warmer than the air temperature.

The wall is constructed out of a series of stone slabs, and bears the names of over 50,000 Americans who perished as a result of the Vietnam War.

The stone was quarried in India, Scruggs said, and the fund has several blank spares it can use in case one is severely damaged.

The experts, Gene Simmons and Dorothy Richter, said their investigation would run through Friday, and they would probably have report ready in a few weeks.

-- Michael E. Ruane

By Washington Post editors  | October 7, 2010; 12:15 PM ET
Categories:  DC  
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Looks like Gene Simmons is getting KISS into everything!

Posted by: damnit79 | October 7, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Okay, okay.

It was me again, just trying to engrave my name onto the memorial.

Posted by: kinkysr | October 7, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry but having team of geophysicists to find cracks in stone seems like somebody has too much money on their hands.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | October 7, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Ironic that small cracks began appearing around 1965 in the policies behind that dreadful war, one that created this memorial.

Posted by: slim2 | October 7, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

The WW I Memorial on the Mall was completely ignored for a decade plus and now the Gvt is putting about 15 million dollars toward its repair.
So you have to watch these things geologically and otherwise.

Posted by: usa322 | October 7, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

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