Monument draws Vietnam veterans for Memorial Day

The State Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument in Austin. (Kevin Schwaller)
The State Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument in Austin. (Kevin Schwaller)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Veterans and families are remembering those who sacrificed for freedom.

Some veterans are visiting the new Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument. The state dedicated it in March.

“From a perspective of having seen it in clay, and then having seen it in bronze, I mean, to see the detail is just absolutely incredible,” said Sam Thacker, who was visiting the monument.

Vietnam veteran Herb Cowan says he lost a couple friends in Vietnam. He lives in Temple now.

“I think [the monument] is very great. Well, it’s long overdue.”

Cowan remembers when military members were spit on rather than honored in bronze.

“It’s just recently that people are thanking us for our service, and I think it’s a tribute for those who weren’t able to come back and for those of us who did come back, it kind of helps us deal with it because we wonder why we made it and some of them didn’t,” said Cowan.

Custom dog tags rest inside of the monument, one for every Texan who was killed or went missing in Vietnam — and 3,417 Texans never made it back to the state.

“I don’t think we should never forget the past or our history because I think it’s so important to remember those who have given it all just so we have the freedoms that we have today,” Cowan said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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