State honors Vietnam veterans with artifact exhibit

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RALEIGH— In 1987, North Carolina honored those who served in Vietnam with the N.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol. For the 30th anniversary of this event, the Capitol presents “The Curious Life of Objects of War: Artifacts Left at the N.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial.”

The current exhibit features the monument and some of the countless artifacts left in the years since its dedication. Notes, medals, patches and gear are among the objects left at the monument, at the feet of the bronze soldiers.

“The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the most consistently visited monuments on the grounds.” observed Capitol Site Administrator Terra Schramm. “It continues to be a sacred space that allows civilians and veterans alike to reflect and remember those who sacrificed so much in Vietnam.”

Entitled “After the Firefight,” the N.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated May 23, 1987, on Capitol Square to honor veterans who served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. The 6.5-foot high, 1,500-pound monument was revealed in a ceremony with more than 4,000 attendees.

Much like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., visitors have been leaving objects since the cement was laid. Today the North Carolina Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection is being organized, cataloged and stored to preserve the history of the people who served in Vietnam and the way individuals chose to remember the Vietnam experience.

Join the State Capitol to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the North Carolina Vietnam Veterans Memorial dedication with this exhibit through Sept. 1.