The inscription on the war victims' memorial states, The city of South Charleston, West Virginia, gratefully acknowledges the ultimate sacrifice of the above individuals who gave their lives for the cost of freedom. May we ever remember that all gave some and some gave all. West Virginia played a significant role in the United States' participation in the Vietnam War. 2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam, 36,578 of whom were West Virginians. Many received awards and those not on active duty made a difference in domestic service.
Nine West Virginians were awarded Medals of Honor including Thomas W. Bennett, who served as a medic and died saving others on the battlefield. Domestically, Charleston Ordnance Center built armored vehicles for the Army. However, not all West Virginians were supporters or participants. Many student demonstrations took place at colleges such as West Virginia University, even though the school was generally considered conservative. Rallies were also held elsewhere in the state including in Charleston.2