February 15, 2023
1998 Display Of Veterans Painted Memorial
This artifact was displayed at the Ohio Statehouse in 1998 courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society.

“The Story of the Ohio Veterans Plaza

“Approximately seventeen years ago [c.1981], two Vietnam veterans, Carl Chandler and Harry Edwards, discovered that the state of Ohio did not have any type of tribute to those who served in the Vietnam War. So they decided to do something about it. What they did was hand paint a 4x8 ft. sheet of plywood as a tribute to the veterans of the Vietnam war. Once painted, and mind you these gentlemen were not painters or artists, they sneaked onto the Statehouse property one night and erected their
‘memorial’ on the Broad and Third Street corner of the Statehouse. Legend has it that there was talk that the state was going to have Harry and Carl arrested for trespassing and destruction of state property. Lucky for them, Senator Richard Pfeiffer, also a Vietnam veteran, intervened, and convinced the state officials not only not to press charges against the two midnight raiders, but to allow that hand painted sign to remain on the Statehouse lawn for a specific period of time.

“Shortly thereafter, another Vietnam veteran decided that Harry and Carl had a point; there was not a proper tribute to those who served in Vietnam, so Representative Joe Vukovich introduced legislation to erect a memorial for that service....”

This text is from, The Official Program of the Ohio Veterans Plaza Dedication, August 21-23, 1998