Statues And Monuments - Ohio Veterans Plaza

The inspiration for the Ohio Veterans Plaza is rooted in an act of civil disobedience. In 1981, two Vietnam veterans, Carl Chandler and Harry Edwards, erected under the cover of night on the Capitol grounds a hand painted four-by-eight-foot sheet of plywood as a tribute to veterans of the Vietnam War. As the story goes, the two were to be charged with trespassing and destruction of state property until then-State Senator Richard Pfeiffer, intervened. Pfeiffer, also a Vietnam veteran, convinced officials to allow the hand-made monument to stand for a specific period of time. Shortly thereafter, the Ohio Legislature passed a bill to install a permanent veteran's monument. The plaza honors Ohio men and women who have served our country since World War II, as well as those who will serve in the future. 

Designed by John Schooley, the memorial was part of the state's comprehensive restoration of the 10-acre Capitol Square. Construction of the plaza was the final feature of site improvements on the east grounds. After completion, the Ohio Veterans Plaza became the new east entrance to the Ohio Capitol complex, a symbol that our government could not exist without the sacrifices Ohio veterans have made. 

Design components of the plaza include:

  • Two curved Ohio limestone walls that are inscribed with actual correspondence sent home to families, friends and loved ones by members of the armed forces involved in conflicts.
  • Two fountains surrounded by benches and annual flowers.
  • Plaque designations of the five branches of the armed services.
  • Inscribed names of Ohio's 88 counties with accompanying flagpoles.
  • Flagpoles displaying American, Ohio and POW/MIA flags.
  • A large grassy lawn to commemorate the traditional parade ground atmosphere of a military post.

 

The plaza serves as the entrance for all tour and school groups and features a drop-off area for buses. The plaza and its design features not only commemorate veterans, but serve as an appropriate educational vehicle for the many visitors and students who pass the Statehouse grounds every day.

 

Click Here to read the letters home inscribed on the two curved walls on Veterans Plaza.