In an attempt to stop the spread of communism from North Vietnam throughout the newly freed South Vietnam, the United States entered the Vietnam War in 1955. Tensions rose with the ongoing Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, and Americans were largely divided on the war. President Richard Nixon withdrew United States forces in 1973. With the Fall of Saigon in 1975, the Communist Party of Vietnam seized control and unified the country as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Dedicated in 1994, the large stone memorial honors the men of Sedgwick County who went missing or lost their lives during the Vietnam War. Over 3 million lives were lost during the Vietnam War; over 58,000 casualties were Americans. “Dedicated to those lives affected by Vietnam” is inscribed across the top of the memorial, with a list of each man’s name on each side. The memorial depicts an injured soldier being carried by two others, with a family holding a folded flag behind them.