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Heroism in a complicated war

In its entirety, the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial at Wesley Bolin Plaza features 10 columns of black granite engraved with the names of Arizonans killed or reported missing in action in Vietnam. At the heart of the memorial is the Fallen Warrior sculpture by Jasper D’Ambrosi, a nationally acclaimed bronze artist who died in 1986, almost a decade after establishing the Arizona Fine Art Foundry in Tempe. The artist’s goal with Fallen Warrior was to portray young soldiers as much as the war’s victims as its heroes. The memorial also includes a timeline tracing the war from its origins when a young Ho Chi Minh led an uprising against the occupying Japanese army in 1941 to the fall of Saigon in 1975.

Beginning this week and continuing into 2014, the Arizona Capitol Times will feature occasional photo displays depicting the most notable of the 32 memorials at Wesley Bolin Plaza.

– Photos by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography

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These members of the Martin Gold family are standing in front of the first large steam engine and threshing machine in the Phoenix area. They are, from left, Martin Gold; his daughter, Rose; an unidentified farmhand; Gold’s daughter, Helen; Dave Martinez; an unidentified young woman; and Gold’s stepson, Ulysses Schofield. The photograph was taken during the harvest in July 1914. Gold brought the first steam thresher to Phoenix.

Martin Gold, Phoenix pioneer (access required)

By all accounts, Martin Gold was a humble and hard-working man. He was popular among the immigrant community, especially the Mexicans—who called him Don Martin—because of his facility with languages.