Memorial Wall

Ohio Veterans Memorial Wall

In May of 2009, the 125 foot long, polished, black granite wall with the names of the 3,095 Ohioans lost during the Vietnam War was dedicated in Clinton, Ohio. This was just the beginning.

Honoring Ohio Veterans

It is vital to us, as a nation, to guarantee that those who paid the complete measure are honored and remembered. We must pay tribute to those that made our country, our freedom and our safety possible.

The west side of the wall is engraved with the names of the 3,095 Ohioans who gave their lives in service to our nation during the Vietnam War. The east side of the wall contains those who gave their lives since the Beirut Bombing up until the current date. The wall will soon contain the names of those lost during the Korean War. It is our mission to make sure that the sacrifices of our Heroes will not be forgotten for generations to come.

The east side of the wall also contains engraved images and brief histories of the conflicts that Ohio has been involved with since the War of 1812. The American Revolution is not included because we were not yet a state.

The polished black granite wall is one-hundred-and-twenty-five feet long and weighs well over 100,000 pounds.

It is the longest free-standing memorial in the country. It is held in place by nothing but its own weight; unlike the wall in D.C. which has an earthen backfill.

The wall is made of fifty granite panels, each panel measuring 72″ tall x 30″ wide x 8″ thick.

The foundation that the wall sits on is over seven feet thick and is made from steel reinforced concrete.


The Ohio Veterans’ Memorial Park is illuminated all night, and we extend a warm welcome to visitors to explore the park at night. The softly lit wall and monuments create a unique atmosphere against the backdrop of the night sky. Many visitors describe the names as if they’re “floating in mid-air” once the sun sets. The early mornings and sunsets provide equally remarkable experiences, as the park takes on a different character at various times of the day.

West Side of Wall

As you enter the park, you will approach the western side of the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall. This poignant memorial bears the engraved names of 3,094 men and one woman who sacrificed their lives in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. The names of these heroes are organized alphabetically by their last names.

Directly facing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall stands the Gold Star Mother statue, dedicated to all parents and family members who have endured the heartbreaking loss of a child to combat. The statue’s gaze is fixed upon the name of Sharon Lane, the sole woman from Ohio who lost her life in combat during the Vietnam War. Remarkably, this dedication was entirely unplanned, further intensified by the fact that the Gold Star Mother Statue was dedicated to Sharon Lane’s mother during the memorial’s unveiling.

At the base of the wall, you will often find cherished mementos such as photographs, flowers, letters, and poems, lovingly left by friends and family as personal tributes to these heroes. We treat these items with the utmost respect, and whenever possible, we gather them for display at future events. Please be aware that, due to weather and climate conditions, we cannot guarantee the long-term preservation of these items. If you have an item you’d like to have stored and used for event displays, kindly get in touch with us, and we will make suitable arrangements.

East Side of Wall

In the heart of the eastern wall lies a testament to Ohio’s participation in wars from the War of 1812 up to the conflict in Afghanistan. These engravings encompass a comprehensive record of photos, factual accounts, and vital statistics of these conflicts.

The northern section of the eastern wall pays tribute to The Ohio Heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Wars On Terrorism. This includes commemorations starting with The Beirut Bombing and extending to encompass The Persian Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan (up to the present day, regrettably, more names continue to be added).

In the year 2014, we initiated efforts to raise funds for engraving the names of our Ohioan heroes from the Korean War, who gave their lives to halt the spread of communism. The names of those Ohioans lost during The Korean War will find their place on the southern end of the wall, ensuring that their sacrifices are not forgotten.

The War of 1812 / 1812-1815


During the late 1700s and the early 1800s, Great Britain found itself embroiled in a protracted war with France. In this context, tensions rose with the United States. The British Navy began to seize American and other vessels, impressing sailors into service by force. Moreover, Britain sought to obstruct American farmers from trading with the French, a key economic concern for the United States. Adding to this turmoil, British forces continued to occupy territories that rightfully belonged to the United States, in violation of the promises made in The Treaty of Paris (1783) at the conclusion of the American Revolution. Many of these soldiers were stationed along the Great Lakes, lending support to Indigenous nations, including the Shawnee leader Tecumseh, in their resistance against American settlers. In 1812, President James Madison, confronted with these grievances, sought the declaration of war from the United States Congress.

The first significant battle of the war transpired in 1813. Although the United States had initially aimed to invade Canada in 1812, British forces successfully thwarted this attempt. Nevertheless, the Americans achieved important victories in the following year. The triumph of Oliver Hazard Perry at the Battle of Lake Erie granted the United States control over the Great Lakes. In 1814, despite a significant naval victory at the Battle of Lake Champlain, the tides of war shifted against the Americans. A British army captured and briefly held Washington, D.C., during which time several buildings, including the White House, were set ablaze. By late 1814, both the United States and Great Britain were eager to bring the war to a close.

The majority of Ohioans fervently supported the war effort. Some British soldiers who remained on United States soil following the American Revolution were stationed along Lake Erie in western Ohio. These British troops were trading firearms with Native American tribes, aiding the indigenous peoples in their resistance to the westward expansion of American settlers. The United States’ victory in the War of 1812 effectively neutralized the native threat to Ohioans and enabled American settlers to establish a more secure presence in Ohio without further opposition.

A total of 26,280 Ohioans answered the call to serve during the War of 1812.

Mexican War 1846-1848



Cause: In 1845, President John Tyler formally approved the annexation of Texas. As soon as Tyler annexed Texas Mexico broke off diplomatic relations with The United States. The two nations also became embroiled in a border dispute. The United States claimed that the Texas-Mexico border was The Rio Grande. Mexico contended that the correct border was the more northerly Nueces River. Upon taking office, Polk immediately dispatched Zachary Taylor with 3,500 soldiers to The Nueces River to defend the land claims of The United States. At the same time that Polk sent the soldiers to the disputed area, he also dispatched John Slidell to offer Mexico to offer thirty million dollars to the Mexican government for the New Mexico Territory, California and to establish the border of Texas at The Rio Grande. The Mexican government refused to meet with Slidell.

In January 1846, President Polk ordered Taylor’s army to advance to The Rio Grande. In April, Mexican forces attacked Taylor’s army. Polk went before Congress and asked for a declaration of war for Mexico’s unwarranted aggression. The Congress agreed and formally declared war on May 13, 1846.

The Conclusion: On February 2, 1848, Mexico and The United States signed The Treaty Of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Mexico acknowledged The Rio Grande as the border between Mexico and Texas. It also ceded New Mexico and California to The United States.

Ohioans Served: 7,000

The American Civil War

The American Civil War, a defining moment in U.S. history, was ignited by longstanding regional tensions between the northern and southern states. These tensions were rooted in the contrasting economic interests of the two regions, with the North primarily focused on manufacturing and shipping and the South predominantly agrarian. Disagreements over tariffs and economic protection, driven in part by the North’s industrial nature and the South’s reliance on cotton exports, were compounded by the issue of states’ rights. Central to this division was the contentious issue of slavery, which was prevalent in the South but foreign to the North. By the late 1850s, the nation stood on the brink of war. Two pivotal events further inflamed the situation: the raid led by John Brown on the Federal Arsenal at Harpers Ferry and the election of Abraham Lincoln. The outbreak of war came shortly after southern forces fired upon Fort Sumter off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, on April 12, 1861.

The Conclusion:
The American Civil War brought about profound changes. The concept of states’ rights yielded to a more centralized federal authority. Slavery, a contentious institution, was abolished within the United States, reshaping the nation’s social landscape. The once-thriving agrarian society of the South became a civilization seemingly “Gone With The Wind.” Additionally, the conflict underscored the growing importance of technology in modern warfare.



Served: 2,213,365
MIA (Missing in Action): 34,000
Wounded: 282,000
Died: 365,000

Served: 1,082,119
MIA (Missing in Action): 22,000
Wounded: 138,000
Died: 209,000
Ohioans Served:
Among the brave individuals who served during the American Civil War, 310,654 were Ohioans, contributing significantly to the conflict’s outcome. Tragically, 11,237 Ohioans lost their lives during the course of the war, a testament to their sacrifice and dedication.



The Spanish-American War (1898)


Cause: The Spanish-American War, occurring from April to August 1898, was a military conflict between Spain and the United States primarily centered on the liberation of Cuba. The war erupted after Spain rejected American demands for a resolution to the Cuban struggle for independence. In the United States, strong expansionist sentiments prevailed, driving the government to formulate plans for the annexation of Spain’s remaining overseas territories, including the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

Tensions mounted with the revolution in Havana, leading the United States to dispatch the warship USS Maine as a sign of significant national interest. The explosion of the USS Maine, coupled with sensationalist and often exaggerated reporting in the “yellow journalism” newspapers, which accused Spain of oppression in its colonies, further inflamed American public opinion.

The Conclusion: The Spanish-American War concluded with victories for the United States in both the Philippine Islands and Cuba. On December 10, 1898, the signing of The Treaty of Paris ceded control of Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam to the United States.

Ohioans Served: A total of 15,354 Ohioans answered the call to serve during the Spanish-American War, demonstrating their commitment to the nation’s cause. Tragically, 230 Ohioans made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in service to their country.

World War I (1914 - 1918)

WORLD WAR I (1914 – 1918)

World War I originated within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne. This event set off a swift chain reaction as European countries declared war on each other, influenced by alliances they had previously forged. Soon, Europe was divided into two major sides: the British, French, and Russians fought against Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. As many of these countries had global colonies that contributed to the war effort, the conflict rapidly transformed into a worldwide event.

Initially, the United States chose neutrality in World War I. President Woodrow Wilson declared the United States to be impartial, urging Americans to maintain neutral thoughts and actions. Despite this stance, many Americans had strong connections to their home countries in Europe, and support often swayed in favor of their ancestral lands. Neutrality proved challenging to maintain as Germany deployed U-boats (submarines) in their efforts to subdue Great Britain. The sinking of the British luxury liner Lusitania, resulting in American lives lost, briefly restrained German submarine activities to prevent U.S. involvement in the war.

On the home front, Ohioans played an active role in supporting the war effort. The state established the Ohio Branch of the Council of National Defense to provide guidance to Governor James M. Cox on Ohio’s mobilization efforts.

The Conclusion:
World War I officially concluded with the signing of The Treaty of Versailles in 1919. This treaty held Germany accountable for World War I and imposed reparations. It also called for the establishment of the League of Nations, an idea championed by President Wilson. Unfortunately, the treaty’s provisions failed to create a long-lasting environment conducive to peace. Resentment among Germans over the treaty’s terms contributed to the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s and eventually led to World War II.

Ohioans Served:
A total of 417,000 Ohioans courageously served their country during World War I. Tragically, 6,800 Ohioans paid the ultimate price, making the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of peace and freedom.

World War II (1914 - 1918)

WORLD WAR II (1941 – 1945)

The origins of World War II are complex, with multiple factors contributing to its outbreak. One significant factor was Germany’s desire to reclaim territories lost following its defeat in World War I. Germany, Italy, and Japan, grappling with the Great Depression, sought to stimulate their economies by expanding their military forces. This expansion created job opportunities in defense industries and the armed forces. As these nations bolstered their military power, a combination of nationalism and the aspiration to be the world’s most dominant country spurred them to expand their influence.

At the onset of World War II, the United States was not initially an active participant but was preparing for the possibility of war. The U.S. government extended support to Great Britain in its European conflict against Germany by providing military equipment through lending and leasing arrangements. Additionally, the United States traded approximately fifty U.S. destroyers to Great Britain in exchange for roughly a dozen British military bases worldwide.

Japan, in its quest for expansion in Asia and the Pacific, grew concerned about U.S. strength and potential involvement in the war. In response, Japanese military leaders, led by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, devised a preemptive attack on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, aiming to weaken the U.S. Pacific Fleet and delay American entry into the conflict.

The attack on Pearl Harbor occurred on December 7, 1941, catching the Americans by surprise and resulting in significant casualties. By the time the attack concluded, 2,390 Americans had lost their lives. Three American battleships—the USS Arizona, USS Utah, and USS Oklahoma—were utterly destroyed, while other American ships suffered heavy damage but were eventually repaired and returned to duty. The Japanese also inflicted damage on numerous American aircraft at nearby airfields.

The Conclusion:
By July 1945, scientists had developed three atomic bombs. Following a successful test of the first bomb near Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945, President Truman authorized the United States military to employ another atomic bomb against Japan. On August 6, 1945, the crew of the Enola Gay, piloted by Ohioan Paul Tibbets, dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, resulting in approximately 200,000 casualties. This atomic bomb, known as “Little Boy,” in conjunction with a second atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945, prompted the Japanese government to surrender, marking the conclusion of World War II.

Ohioans Served:
A total of 839,000 Ohioans valiantly served their country during World War II, making a significant contribution to the war effort. Sadly, 23,000 Ohioans lost their lives during the course of the conflict, reflecting the high cost paid by the state in the pursuit of peace and freedom.

Korean War (1950 - 1953)

KOREAN WAR (1950 – 1953)

The Korean War commenced on June 25, 1950, when North Korea, a communist nation, launched an invasion of South Korea. Prior to the conclusion of World War II, North and South Korea were united as a single nation known as Korea. However, after World War II, Korea was divided into two separate countries. By invading South Korea, North Korea aspired to reunify the two nations under communism.

The United States, deeply concerned about the spread of communism, sought to curb North Korea’s aggression. The U.S. requested authorization from the United Nations to provide military support to the South Korean government. The United Nations approved this request, enabling the United States to send troops to both North and South Korea to liberate South Korea from North Korean occupation. Although many of these troops were from the U.S. military, they were under United Nations command. Because the United States never formally declared war on North Korea, some argue that the Korean War should be referred to as the Korean Conflict. From the American perspective, this is technically accurate. However, it is essential to recognize that North and South Korea were undeniably engaged in a war, with American and other international forces participating to protect South Korea from communism.

Upon the arrival of United Nations forces in South Korea, particularly through the Inchon Invasion, the tide of the war swiftly turned against North Korea. United Nations forces, in conjunction with South Korean troops, pushed the North Koreans back into their territory. These combined forces did not halt at merely expelling North Korean troops from South Korea; they pressed forward with the intention of liberating North Korea from communist rule. By October 1950, United Nations forces had forced North Korean troops to the border with China. Fearful that the UN forces might advance into China, another communist nation, Chinese military forces crossed the Chinese-North Korean border and initiated an assault against United Nations troops. Early in 1951, Chinese forces had pushed United Nations troops back to the 38th parallel, and both sides engaged in numerous clashes without either achieving a decisive victory.

On July 27, 1953, both sides agreed to a ceasefire, effectively bringing the Korean War to a close. South Korea remained free from communism, and the pre-war borders of the two Koreas were largely preserved.

Ohioans Killed:
A total of 1,777 Ohioans made the ultimate sacrifice during the Korean War, reflecting the significant contribution and dedication of the state’s servicemen and women during this challenging conflict.

Vietnam War (1964 - 1973)

VIETNAM WAR (1964 – 1973)

Cause: The Vietnam War had its roots in the aftermath of World War II when France sought to reestablish Vietnam as a French colony, as it had been before the war. During World War II, Japanese forces had occupied Vietnam and transformed it into a colony of Japan, expelling the French. With Japan’s defeat in August 1945, France aimed to regain control of Vietnam. However, under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, a staunch supporter of communism, a significant number of Vietnamese people rebelled against the French in the late 1940s and early 1950s, with the goal of driving them out. This rebellion marked the beginning of the Vietnam War. The revolutionaries proved successful, leading to the signing of the Geneva Accords in 1954, which obliged the French to withdraw from Vietnam.

The Geneva Accords, however, laid the groundwork for a continuation of the Vietnam War. The treaty divided Vietnam into two separate nations, North Vietnam and South Vietnam, with the understanding that they would reunite as one country under a single leader through an election set for 1956. Fearing the election’s potential outcome, the leader of South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, prevented the election from occurring. Subsequently, opponents of Diem in South Vietnam, supported by North Vietnam, sought to overthrow him. In an effort to prevent the spread of communism to South Vietnam, President Dwight D. Eisenhower dispatched American advisors to assist the South Vietnamese military in their conflict against the South Vietnamese revolutionaries and their North Vietnamese backers. President John F. Kennedy continued this policy by sending more advisors.

Upon assuming the presidency, Lyndon Baines Johnson pursued a strategy to escalate American involvement in Vietnam. As a result, the United States Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which empowered Johnson to respond to the alleged attacks in the Gulf of Tonkin. The resolution authorized the president to take all necessary actions, including the use of armed force, to aid any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty that requested assistance in the defense of its freedom. While the United States never formally declared war on North or South Vietnam, the scale and intensity of the conflict made it undeniably a war. Fierce battles resulted in the loss of approximately 58,252 American lives. Estimates of casualties among the North Vietnamese and the South Vietnamese vary, with some sources suggesting over three million Vietnamese casualties, combining both sides.

In a bid to secure victory, the United States engaged in extensive bombing campaigns of North and South Vietnam, most notably Operation Rolling Thunder, and even targeted the neighboring countries of Cambodia and Laos, which the North Vietnamese used for troop and supply transit into South Vietnam. The Tet Offensive in 1968 marked a significant turning point, as North Vietnamese troops and their South Vietnamese allies nearly captured Saigon.

Richard Nixon’s election victory was based, in part, on his pledge to end American involvement in the Vietnam War. By the end of his first term, Nixon had significantly reduced the number of American troops in Vietnam, from 500,000 to fewer than 100,000. In 1973, the United States agreed to the Paris Peace Accords with North Vietnam, essentially marking the conclusion of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

Ohioans Served: An impressive 3,100,000 Ohioans answered the call to serve during the Vietnam War, contributing significantly to the nation’s effort. Tragically, 3,095 Ohioans made the ultimate sacrifice during this tumultuous conflict, symbolizing their dedication and sacrifice in the pursuit of peace and freedom.

The Beirut Bombing October 23, 1983

On this day, a suicide bomber drives a truck filled with 2,000 pounds of explosives into a U.S. Marine Corps barracks at the Beirut International Airport. The explosion killed 220 Marines (13 from Ohio), 18 sailors and 3 soldiers. A few minutes after that bomb went off, a second bomber drove into the basement of the nearby French paratrooper’s barracks, killing 58 more people. Four months after the bombing, American forces left Lebanon without retaliating. At about 6:20 in the morning on October 23, 1983, a yellow Mercedes truck charged through the barbed-wire fence around the American compound and plowed past two guard stations. It drove straight into the barracks and exploded. Eyewitnesses said that the force of the blast caused the entire building to float up above the ground a moment before it pancaked down in a cloud of pulverized concrete and human remains. FBI investigators said it was the largest non-nuclear explosion since World War II and certainly the most powerful car bomb ever detonated.

Ohioans Killed:

The Gulf War January 17, 1991


JANUARY 17, 1991

Cause: The Gulf War was a short military conflict between Iraqi and United Nation forces during the first two months of 1991.

On August 2, 1990, Iraqi troops invaded and then occupied neighboring Kuwait. The United Nations, at the urging of The United States Of America, sent forces to nearby nations to pressure Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait. Eventually thirty-four different nations sent forces to the region. Iraq president, Saddam Hussein, however, refused to withdraw his troops from Kuwait. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait started the Gulf War, which was named after the neighboring Persian Gulf. On January 17, 1991, the United Nations assault, known as Operation Desert Storm, began. On that day, United Nation forces launched an air assault against the Iraqi military. On February 24, 1991, the United Nations troops launched a ground assault.

The Conclusion: After enduring more than one month of bombing from the air and missile strikes, the Iraqi forces

The Iraq War March 20, 2003

On March 20, 2003, a coalition of countries, principally The United States and Great Britain, invaded Iraq, contending that the Iraqi government, headed by Saddam Hussein, had developed or was in the process of developing chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction. Hussein’s actions, if true, were in violation of United Nations directives, resulting from Iraq’s defeat in the original Gulf War.

The Second Gulf War lasted just three weeks and ended with Saddam Hussein’s overthrow. However, since 2003, United States forces, as well as troops from other countries, have struggled to end violent resistance in the nation. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, including Ohioans, have served in the Iraq War. Casualty numbers rise daily, with more than four thousand Americans perishing in the war itself and in the subsequent occupation of Iraq through July 2008. In early August 2005, a Marine Reserve unit from Ohio lost approximately twenty dead during a series of attacks over a several week period. President George Bush has stated that U.S. forces will remain in Iraq to help the new government to draft a constitution and to fight terrorism.

In 2007, President Bush sent an additional forty thousand American troops to Iraq. Known as The Surge, these forces succeeded in reducing the violence in Iraq. Proving especially helpful to coalition forces in 2007 and 2008 was the rejection by many Iraqi warlords of the terrorists and other insurgents. These warlords have been actively assisting The United States against insurgents, when previously they had been warring against Americans and their allies.

The Afghanistan War October 2001

Cause: In October 2001, The United States and Great Britain invaded the country of Afghanistan. The invasion was in response to the terrorist attacks launched against The United States on September 11, 2001. The rules of Afghanistan, known as the Taliban, had provided support to the terrorist group Al-Qaeda, which had claimed responsibility for the September 11 attacks. Opponents to the Taliban within Afghanistan actively assisted American and British soldiers. Other nations also contributed troops to freeing Afghanistan from Taliban control. The initial invasion was named Operation Enduring Freedom.

Since the start of the invasion, American forces in Afghanistan have faced continued opposition. Taliban followers continue to attack American forces, including soldiers from Ohio, and their allies. Nevertheless, thanks to The United States and their allies, Afghanistan has created a more democratic government.

Connecting With Veterans and Their Families

  • It is the longest free-standing monument in the country.
  • The POW / MIA Reflection Pond is the largest POW memorial in the State of Ohio.
  • Our Gold Star Father statue is the first of its kind in the nation.
  • The granite that the wall is made from is quarried from the same site as the National wall.
  • The wall behind the POW/MIA Pond is designed to in respect to the National wall.
  • The Gold Star Mother Statue, that was dedicated to Sharon Lane’s mother, the only female from Ohio killed during combat in the Vietnam War, stares at Sharon’s name on the wall. This was not planned.
Gold Star Mother

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Ohio Veterans Memorial Park

Main: (330) 529-4001

8005 Cleveland Massillon Road Clinton, Ohio 44216-8918

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