“I want you to bring your children here, and your grandchildren. You tell them about these men and women that we honored here today. You tell your kids about how these veterans answered their nation’s call and left Texas to go to a far away land called Vietnam. Tell them how these veterans fulfilled their duty to their country. Your duty is to make sure it is Never Forgotten.”
Honoring Our Texas Heroes
Every year a million visitors to the Texas State Capitol grounds are met by a collection of monuments that stand as sentries of the past to remind us of the service and sacrifice of Texans in times of war. Now the estimated half-million Texans who served and the 3,417 young sons of the Lone Star State who died or are missing in the Vietnam War are honored alongside the Heroes of the Alamo, the Confederate Soldiers, and Texas veterans of World War I, World War II and the Korean War.
Located on the northeast side of the Capitol grounds, the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument was dedicated on March 29, 2014 in a ceremony attended by more than 4,500 people. As the physical and symbolic center of state government, the Texas State Capitol and its grounds are carefully managed by the State Preservation Board. Additions to the grounds must be legislatively approved, and in May 2005, during the 79th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and Representative Wayne Smith co-sponsored House Concurrent Resolution 36 authorizing a Vietnam War monument on the Capitol grounds.
Please visit the online tour to learn more about the monument’s symbols and to hear stories of Texas Vietnam veterans.
They were infantry soldiers and marines, sailors, helicopter and jet pilots and crews, nurses and doctors, and support personnel. They endured harsh weather and constant danger and the loneliness and heartbreak of separation from their loved ones in a war that that grew increasingly controversial. Many returned with lifelong wounds – seen and unseen – to a war-weary nation. While the Vietnam War is history for some, the healing continues for others.
The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument is accompanied by an online “Living Monument” capturing the stories of Texans affected by the Vietnam War. Stories are keyed to an interactive map of Texas, illustrating the hometown sacrifice of Texas during the Vietnam War. Texas veterans, families and civilians affected by the war are invited to contribute their photographs and stories to this educational archive that brings the monument to life.
The 14-foot-high bronze sculpture of an infantry patrol, surrounded by bas-relief panels depicting all those who supported the core fighting force, will stand on a granite pedestal that matches the Capitol itself. Benches will welcome visitors to reflect on the evocative pose of the radioman as he watches the sky for the incoming rescue helicopter, the dedicated medic delivering blood to a wounded comrade, the thousand-yard stare of the infantryman who has seen far too much in these past days of his young life.
Learn More About the 3417 Project
The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument will stand as a permanent honor to all Texans who served in the Vietnam War – and it will also serve as a permanent memorial to the 3,417 Texans who never came home. This memorial will be made through The 3417 Project, which will individually honor each Texan who died in the Vietnam War.Learn More