On Memorial Day 2001, the museum added a stirring and spectacular new exhibit to its already highly praised fine art collection. The work of art, an immense 10 x 40 foot sculpture entitled Above and Beyond, is comprised of imprinted dog tags, one for each of the more than 58,000 service men and women who died in the Vietnam War.Above & Beyond is the first new permanent Vietnam War memorial, other than The Wall in Washington, D.C., to list all those killed in action. Above & Beyond at the National Veterans Art Museum is a singular honor for Chicago. It was even the subject of a question on the TV show, Jeopardy, on Jan. 10, 2011.
When visitors first enter the museum, they will hear a sound like wind chimes coming from above them and their attention will be drawn upward 24 feet to the ceiling of the two-story high atrium. There they will see tens of thousands of metal dog tags, spaced evenly one inch apart, suspended from fine lines which will allow them to move like a living thing with the shifts in air currents.