"We who have seen war, will never stop seeing it. In the silence of the night, we will always hear the screams. So this is our story, for we were soldiers once, and young." - Joe Galloway, Texan, war correspondent, author, in the movie, “We Were Soldiers” (2002)
At long last, the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument will be dedicated this Saturday, March 29, 2014.
The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Memorial project began in May, 2005, when Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa and Representative Wayne Smith, both Vietnam veterans, co-sponsored House Concurrent Resolution 36 at the 79th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature authorizing a Vietnam War monument to be placed on the Capitol grounds.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the monument was held on March 25, 2013. The Master of Ceremonies was Jerry Patterson, a pilot in Vietnam, and current Texas Land Commissioner.
The monument is located on the northeast side of the Capitol grounds near 14th & Brazos Streets. General seating will open at 8:00 a.m. The ceremony will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m.
Included in the day's celebration is the award-winning Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibit located in the lower Rotunda of the State Capitol. The exhibit presents replicas of 3,417 personalized dog tags honoring those Texans killed and missing in Vietnam. The actual dog togs are entombed in the monument.
Following the ceremony, visitors are invited to attend the Texas Welcome Home Fair. Besides music of the era, there are a variety of exhibits including
• Vietnam War Static Displays and Educational Exhibits on the east side of the Capitol
• Vietnam Helicopters
• Vietnam Military Vehicles
• Vietnam Military History Exhibits
• Vietnam Center and Archive
• 50th Commemoration of the Vietnam War
• Veterans Services Information
We veterans, especially we Vietnam Veterans, will attend this once-in-a-lifetime event to honor our fellow military men and women who failed to return home with us. And we will salute them on this long overdue day of remembrance.