The design for the Vietnam War Memorial on the Oregon State Capitol Grounds is shown on this page. After eighteen months of research and meetings, our Steering Committee accepted and adopted this design on July 31, 2019. The layout design was approved by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission on February 25, 2021.
The Memorial will be located in the southwest corner of Willson Park in Salem, Oregon. This is one of two parks that surround the State Capitol Building. The Memorial elements and attributes are described below. You can also view an image of the design plan here by clicking here.
1. Memorial Monument
The Memorial Monument is a set of black granite columns that will include names of all Oregonians who died in Vietnam listed by their home of record. It will include a salute to all branches of the military. In addition, one of the columns will contain a tribute to those who served in Vietnam and suffered in our homeland because of that service.
2. Brothers Benches
Four benches will honor the Oregon Vietnam Double Gold Star families. The Oregonians that lost two sons in Vietnam are the Rowden, Wright, Evans and Johnson families.
3. MIA - POW Stations
These stations will honor all Missing in Action (MIA) and Prisoners of War (POW) from all conflicts.
4. Nurses Station
A sculpture by Oregon artist Rip Caswell depicts a nurse attending to a wounded soldier.
6. Water Feature
A swale using natural irrigation will feature vegetation similar to Vietnam native grasses and vegetation.
7. A Soldier's Return
A sculpture by Oregon artist Libby Carruth depicts the struggles of the returning Vietnam warriors.
8. Meeting & Gathering Station
A large area near the Vegetation and Water Feature will be used for gatherings and discussions. This area will be conducive to Vietnam veterans sharing their experiences and other events. Plans include electrical outlets for a public address system.
9. Persian Gulf War Memorial
A memorial stone will be placed to honor the six Oregonians who died in Operation Desert Storm.
10. Gold Star Families Memorial Monument
A memorial plaque will honor the 6,000+ Oregon Gold Star Families.
11. Purple Heart State Plaque
A display will honor all Purple Heart recipients from Oregon.
12. Virtual Vietnam War History and Memorial Interpretation
In addition to displays within the Memorial, an "In The Cloud" system will be available for visitors to enhance their visit to the Oregon Vietnam War Memorial.