Oregon Vietnam War Memorial Group Seeks Exhibit Feedback

Posted on May 15, 2023

Salem, Oregon – (May 15, 2023), The public is invited to review and comment on the interpretive panels for the Vietnam Memorial exhibit that will be placed at the Oregon State Capitol grounds. To be included in the review, comments must be submitted on www.vwmfund.org by June 10, 2023.

The Vietnam War Memorial Fund (VWMF) is a group of Oregonians committed to establishing the memorial to honor the men and women who served in the Vietnam War. The project aims to help bring peace to the suffering endured by those rejected after returning home. The Oregon Capitol Planning Commission, the City of Salem Historic Landmarks Commission, and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission approved the final design. Each interpretive panel and its content has been vetted and verified by a certified Historian to be accurate and historically correct. The 2021 Oregon State Legislature gave its final permissions by unanimously passing Senate Bill 319, establishing the Vietnam War Memorial on the Oregon State Capitol Grounds. On July 14, 2021, Governor Kate Brown signed that bill into law.

The exhibit is now in the final stages of development, and VWMF seeks feedback on the interpretive (written) panels accompanying the memorial. The panels will provide visitors with facts and context about the Vietnam War and the role of Oregonians in the conflict.

  • The Vietnam War was a tumultuous period in American history, spanning two decades and becoming the longest war in recorded history.
  • By 1968, the United States had over 500,000 military personnel on the ground in Vietnam, with 2.7 million Americans serving during the conflict.
  • Tragically, 58,318 Americans died, including 710 Oregonians killed in action and four Oregon families who lost two sons each.
  • The Vietnam War lasted from November 1955 to May 1975.

Steve Bates, President of the Vietnam War Memorial Fund, says this memorial will be a place of solitude and reflection for our Vietnam Veterans and the public at large. “The design mixes art, nature, and tradition. It will also provide educational opportunities for generations to come. These educational opportunities are the interpretive panels and exhibits we are developing for the Vietnam Memorial.”

“We encourage anyone interested in the project, especially Vietnam Veterans and people who may have lived or have family in regions affected by the war, to provide feedback before June 10, 2023,” said Bates. “We are committed to creating a memorial that honors the sacrifice of Oregonians who served in the Vietnam War and provides visitors with a deeper understanding of the conflict and its impact.”

To learn more about the fund for a Vietnam Memorial on the Oregon State Capitol and to provide feedback on the interpretive panels, go to www.vwmfund.org. There is an overview video and nine exhibits to review, with a comment section for each. A few demographic questions are included for research purposes. The survey is anonymous, yet respondents can include their email if they wish to be added to the memorial’s database.

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