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Monument honors Oregon's dead, missing from Vietnam War.

TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Don Janigian places a wreath at the Vietnam Memorial during its rededication at Beaverton Veterans Memorial Park. The memorial bears the name of his brother, Cpl. Richard A. Janigian, a Marine who died while serving in the Vietnam War in 1967.Steady rain did little to dampen a ceremony Thursday afternoon to rededicate what is said to be Oregon's oldest memorial to Vietnam War veterans.

The memorial, which was originally constructed in honor of Marine Cpl. Richard A. Janigian and lists his name alongside dozens more of Oregonians who were killed or went missing in action while serving in the Vietnam War, was rededicated in its new permanent home: Beaverton Veterans Memorial Park, off of Southwest Watson Avenue at the southern tip of downtown Beaverton.

The memorial was originally dedicated in 1968 at the old Beaverton Elks Lodge. With the Beaverton Elks breaking ground on a new lodge last year and selling their building, the memorial was taken out and moved to the park, which also hosts several other memorials and monuments to military service personnel.

“It is only fitting that this memorial is now coming home to be with the other memorials in this beautiful park,” said Douglas Bomarito, a Vietnam War combat veteran who was one of several speakers at Thursday's rededication ceremony.

Fred Meyer, who serves as adjutant of American Legion Post 124 in Beaverton, served as the event's master of ceremonies.

“It is our heartfelt desire this monument, at a place of honor at the entrance to this park, will forever honor those who gave their all in the Vietnam War,” Meyer said. “May it also stand as a reminder to future generations of all those who served and sacrificed during that time in our nation's history.”

Phil Myers, a retired captain in the United States Air Force, talked about the memorial's history.

“This monument is the oldest Vietnam War memorial in the United States of its kind, with the lost from an entire state listed,” Myers said.

Janigian was killed in action in 1967, while serving in the Vietnam War. He had just 10 days remaining in his tour of duty.

“The Janigians wanted to honor their son, but also all Oregonians lost in the war,” Myers said. “It is somewhat unusual for a monument to be built during a conflict, so names, of course, were added later.”

Beaverton City Council President Marc San Soucie read out a resolution proclaiming the day as Vietnam War Veterans Memorial Day in Beaverton.

“I'm proud to be standing here today to represent a city that respects the service of our service personnel and honors the courage and the commitment and the sacrifice of those who served — of our veterans, and those who died,” said San Soucie.

Law enforcement officers from Beaverton, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Tualatin, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office and the Oregon State Police fired off a rifle volley at the end of the ceremony, which was well attended despite the wet weather.

Don Janigian, Richard's brother, also laid a wreath at the memorial.

The rededication ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park took place 48 years to the day after the memorial was originally dedicated at the Elks Lodge by then-Gov. Tom McCall.

By Mark Miller
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