Iowa Capitol Monuments Salute Veterans

Veteran's Voices

DES MOINES, Iowa — There has been a lot of interest in monuments of late. Even interest in the monuments around the Iowa State Capitol Building.
The grounds around the state capitol contain 48 monuments. Many can be viewed outside, without a guide.

“The Soldiers and Sailors Monument sits in the spot where the old brick capital was, the first building that we built in Des Moines,” said Joni Arnett, State Capitol Tour Leader.”The land was given to the Grand Army of the Republic to build their monument for the Civil War Veterans.”

The Soldiers and Sailors features a number of Civil War generals, and a statue of Shelby Norman, the first Iowan to die in the Civil War, he was 18 years old.

“The Soldiers and Sailors Monument was designed by Harriet Ketchum,” said Arnett. “She did not live to see the monument completed.”

There is no shortage of monuments to view on a walk around the Capitol.

“We have monuments to the veterans that served in Korea, we have monuments to the veterans that served in Viet Nam,” said Arnett. “Of course over near the Grimes building we have the World War II Memorial Pearl Harbor Memorial for the Veterans that served in WWII.”

While there are requested tours outside of the monuments, there is also a self-guided tour using a printed page with QR codes, which can be read by a smart phone. The phone then plays video or audio clips to explain each monument.

For a map you can download, with the QR Codes, click here.

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