Ohio Veteran’s Plaza at the Ohio Statehouse

Written/Photography by
Andrew Livelsberger

The Ohio Veteran’s Plaza is located by the 3rd street entrance to the Ohio Statehouse.  The plaza originally started as an act of civil disobedience.  Carl Chandler and Harry Edwards, two Vietnam veterans placed a 4×8 foot piece of plywood on the statehouse grounds in 1981 as a tribute.  For their actions, the two were charged with trespassing and destruction of state property.  Senator Richard Pfeiffer heard about the incident and convinced the Ohio Legislature to allow the board to stand and then replace it with a proper monument.  For more detailed information, please see the official Ohio Statehouse website.

The curved concrete walls contain actual correspondence sent home to family and friends by members of the armed forces involved in conflicts.  There are 2 walls, one on each side of the grounds, with 88 Ohio flags in the middle – one for each county.  Some of the letters are quite sobering.  It reminds me of a modern day Ken Burns Civil War.  Letters from soldiers writing home to their family.  If you ever get a chance to visit the Ohio Statehouse, make sure to walk the outside and see all the monuments that have been erected there.   I’ve lived in Ohio since 1993, and I had no idea that this Veterans Plaza existed until just recently.

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