The argument {editorial, Nov. 11} that the proposed statue of an Army nurse at the Vietnam memorial "would have destroyed the delicate balance" between the original Maya Lin wall and the existing statue of three infantrymen is completely without merit. What can be said is that any statue erected within sight of the wall destroys the symbolism and beauty of a great memorial.

A bad precedent has already been set by yielding to the demands of an interest group that had to have a traditional monument and apparently did not comprehend the true meaning and magnificence of the wall.

The Commission of Fine Arts did all of us a great disservice by yielding to the first interest group. Now it is only fair to yield to the second. ELSA P. PAULSEN Charlottesville, Va.

The Post's claim about destroying a "delicate balance" is nonsense. Such a balance was never intended, since the wall was originally planned to be the only memorial. The statue of the infantrymen was added later.

Now that we have a statue representing the men in the war, we should have one for the women who served caring for the wounded. They were often in as much danger as the soldiers. The statue for nurses should be placed near the soldiers' statue, where it would be clearly visible.

J. Carter Brown claims the nurses' statue would set a precedent for other groups wanting a statue to represent them. Doesn't he realize that the sculpture of three soldiers already set the precedent? For me, at least, the wall remembers those who died, and the existing statue remembers those who served, and survived. KAREN A. AGUILERA Temple Hills