NJ Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation
Created by legislation in 1986, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Committee was charged with determining the design and location as well as raising the funds needed to construct the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial. The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial is an open-air structure made up of 366 polished black granite panels - one for each day of the year. Engraved on each of these panels are the names of the 1,560 New Jerseyans killed or reported missing on that date. Hien Nguyen, who fled war-torn South Vietnam in 1975, designed the Memorial. At the center a red oak, the official state tree, shades a grouping of three bronze statues sculpted by artist Thomas Jay Warren. The oversized statues represent the men who died, those who came home and the women who served beside them. The Memorial was dedicated on May 7, 1995. The Vietnam Era Educational Center, dedicated in 1998, is the first educational center in the country devoted solely to gaining an understanding of the war in Southeast Asia and the political strife in America. It enables visitors to attain a greater understanding of the myriad of forces that produced the conflict abroad and the dissension at home. Located adjacent to the NJ Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, it provides both learning materials and exhibits to help visitors understand the significance of the Memorial, the reality of the conflict, and the social, political and cultural complexities of the war years. Guided tours are provided to school groups and other groups, all led by Vietnam Veteran volunteers. In addition, a full calendar of lectures, film presentations and teacher programs offers the general public an opportunity to learn more about this unique time in our nation’s history.