As a participant in the design competition for the Vietnam Women's Memorial {Style, Nov. 12}, I am not alone in questioning whether a thousand or so people spent their time and money on an exercise in futility.

One of the two winning entries looks very much like a previously proposed statue that was declined by the Fine Arts Commission. The other winner appears to have been chosen because it was one of the only entries that was plain and meaningless enough to be a good podium for the statue. It is not difficult to conclude that the whole purpose of the competition was to try to force the Fine Arts Commission to swallow the concept it already rejected: this time it would have the status of a competition winner.

I am not familiar with the reasoning of the commission, but there was at least one good reason to object to the idea of another metal person in the woods: it will not represent those who do not look anything like it (especially since this winner looks suspiciously like the gorgeous Dana Delaney).

It was a mistake to have started adding statues of realistic individuals in the first place; it was predictable that women veterans would feel left out. It is predictable that we might next hear from the black women Vietnam vets, or the Asian Vietnam vets or any vets who do not feel they are represented by one of these four figures. It may eventually be noticed that the model for the bodies of the three soldiers was the same white Caucasian male with different heads placed upon him.

A monument of such importance should be above such bickering. It should not look like a bunch of spurned women shouting, "Me too, dammit!"

It looks like Maya Lin's wall will remain the only monument out there that timelessly honors all who sacrificed.