The Vietnam War Memorial on the Oregon State Capitol Grounds is closer to reality

Vietnam War Memorial On The Oregon State Capitol Grounds-cm

Media Release – July 24, 2023

Contact:  Steve Bates, President

                 Vietnam War Memorial Fund

                 Office (503) 663-6271

                 Email:  or

The Vietnam War Memorial on the Oregon State Capitol Grounds is closer to reality:

Since 2017, a group of Oregon residents have been working tirelessly to honor Oregon’s Vietnam War Veterans with a Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the state capitol.  The Vietnam War Memorial Fund was founded because the state of Washington erected a Vietnam Memorial on their capitol grounds in the 1980’s.  California erected their Vietnam Memorial on their capitol grounds in the early 1990’s.  Thirty years later, Oregon still has not honored its Vietnam Veterans accordingly.

“It has been a long and arduous road” says Steve Bates, President and co-founder of the Vietnam War Memorial Fund.  “We experienced immediate traction for this project, but that traction was reduced with the lengthy delays in acquiring the needed permissions.  And then COVID stopped us in our tracks.”

The Vietnam War Memorial Fund Steering Committee adopted the memorial design on July 31, 2019.  A few months later, an application was submitted to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department for permission to place a memorial on the state capitol grounds which are known as State Capitol State Parks.  After a year and a half, the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission approved the design on February 25, 2021.  On July 14, 2021, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 319 into law which established the Vietnam War Memorial on the Oregon State Capitol Grounds.  Currently, all of the required permissions are in place and the project is shovel ready.

The location of the Vietnam War Memorial will be in the southwest corner of the Willson Park portion of the State Capitol State Park, to the west of the capitol building and to the south of the World War II Memorial.  Steve Bates added: “It is significant that these two wars be memorialized on the Oregon capitol grounds as they are the two wars that caused the most Oregon casualties.  The two memorials together will honor about 75% of Oregon’s war dead.”

Steve Bates stated: “Over these past six years, we have been involved in fundraising for this project.  Because of the delays in receiving the necessary permissions, fundraising was difficult.  But, we are starting to move forward now.  We are grateful to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and their Spirit Mountain Community Fund in addition to the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and their Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund.  The tribal contributions coupled with those from around the state have helped us raise $2.5 million dollars to date.  This total includes a recent allocation from the Oregon State Legislature.  We anticipate starting construction in 2024 pending receipt of additional funds.  In October we will know the amount needed to start the initial construction process.”

The granite columns to be used for the memorial were ordered over a year ago.  They arrived in Oregon over the past month. VWMF Board Member Dan Mason stated:  “It is exciting that we have the granite columns here in Oregon.  They are all paid for and we await the opportunity to have them installed as the main element of the memorial.”  The memorial columns will bear the names of all Oregonians who died in Vietnam.  They will be listed by hometown or community.

The Vietnam War Memorial Fund Board of Directors appointed Andersen Construction in Portland as the preferred General Contractor.  Andersen is currently providing Pre-Construction services which include reviewing the plans and identifying final costing for the project.  “We hope to have the pre-construction processes completed in October so we can adopt an actual construction calendar for 2024.” added Bates.  “But, we need to raise more funds to meet the 2024 construction goals.  We are seeking support from additional charitable foundations and the public.  We ask everyone to show their support of our Vietnam Veterans by donating to this project.  Every donation whether large or small will put us closer to our goal!”

For more information, go to the Vietnam War Memorial Fund’s website at:

The Vietnam War Memorial Fund is a recognized 501(c)3 organization and all donations are tax deductible to the extent of applicable tax law.  You can donate by sending a check to:

Vietnam War Memorial Fund – P O Box 1448 – Boring, Oregon 97009 or, by credit card at