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Run for the Fallen raises money, awareness

Terry Carroll wants to make sure that everyone who has died while serving in the U.S. military will be remembered, and as chapter president of the Clackamas-based Blue Star Mothers of America Photo Credit: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Terry Carroll holds a poster promoting the upcoming Run for the Fallen. She is standing in front of the proposed model for the Gold Star Memorial, constructed by Gary Pitman, owner of Proof of Concept in Vancouver, Wash., left, and his employee Todd Miller.  Oregon chapter, she has the ability to do something about it.

She and the organization are working to raise funds to build the Gold Star Memorial at Willamette National Cemetery, that will stand for decades as a testimonial to Oregon and Southwest Washington’s men and women who have served in the U.S. military, and who have lost their lives while in active service to our country, she told a group gathered just outside the cemetery gates on Wednesday, July 2.

She also asked the group to get the word out about the Run for the Fallen, a money-making race/walk taking place from 8 a.m. to noon on Aug. 16 at the Cleveland High School track in Portland.

Carroll urged people to visit bluestarmothersoforegon.com for more information and to register for the run; all proceeds will go to the memorial.

“Active” duty is the key word that sets this memorial apart from others, Carroll noted, adding that most war memorials honor only those individuals killed in the country of service, but the Gold Star Memorial will honor those who died during training exercises, for example, or who died in this country, while still on active duty.

“What about the ones who didn’t die in the theater of war? They are forgotten and I don’t want to see that happen,” Carroll added.

The occasion on July 2 was to unveil to the public the 3D model of the memorial, created by Gary Pitman and Todd Miller of Proof Concept, in Vancouver, Wash.

Funds to build the model came from donations, but much more money, maybe close to $1 million, will be needed to actually build the Gold Star Memorial, to be located near the main office of the cemetery.

“It has been designed as a welcoming, peaceful retreat where people can go to reflect and renew themselves with strength and hope,” Carroll said.

The Blue Star Mothers of Oregon will not receive any financial assistance from the Veterans’ Administration, Carroll noted, so she asked the attendees “to stand with us in this effort to honor these brave men and women and their families who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country, our state and its citizens, and make a gift to the Blue Star Mothers of Oregon.”

Blue Star, Gold Star

During World War II, mothers hung a service banner in the window of their homes to show that a son or daughter was serving their country. The banner featured one blue star for each child on active duty, and thus the Blue Star Mothers of America was formed. The Oregon chapter was founded in 2008.

Blue Star members offer support to Gold Star families, those families who have lost a loved one in service to our nation. They support Gold Star families in their time of grief, presenting them with a Gold Star banner, in honor of their sacrifice.

Blue Star Mothers of Oregon accepts donated food and hygiene items to be sent to troops or distributed to local veterans. Visit bluestarmothersoforegon to find out more. To contact Terry Carroll, president of Blue Star Mothers of Oregon, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..