North Carolina Vietnam Veterans Memorial "After the firefight"

Vietnam Monument at State Capitol Dedicated 1987

On May 23, 1987, the North Carolina Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on the grounds of the State Capitol in Raleigh. Entitled “After the Firefight,” the memorial honors the more than 206,000 men and women of the state who served in the Vietnam War.

Designed by Abbe Godwin of Colfax in Guilford County, the monument depicts two soldiers carrying a wounded comrade to a nearby landing zone to await medical help. The clothing and equipment of the soldiers portrayed were sculpted from items loaned to the artist by Vietnam veterans.

During the four years she worked on the project, Godwin immersed herself in the conflict, collecting artifacts, reading histories and literature from the period extensively and talking to Vietnam veterans.

The monument was the first on the Capitol grounds to be authorized since the World War II-era and is the first to be sculpted by a woman. It is also the first on Union Square to depict an African American.

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