Veterans memorial to be built at Happy Valley City Hall
On May 1, Happy Valley was awarded a grant from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission to construct a memorial for veterans adjacent to City Hall.
Happy Valley Veterans Memorial will honor veterans with a new park, pathway and plaza. Each branch of the armed services will be represented at the memorial with a custom bench, branch flag and lighted flagpole. The memorial will be strategically located halfway between the Willamette National Cemetery and Camp Withycombe, an active National Guard facility.
"Happy Valley veterans must travel to Willamette National Cemetery in Portland to visit the nearest veteran memorial," wrote city staffer Jaimie Lorenzini Huff in the application to the state. "The WNC memorials are meaningful and inclusive, however, their distance from our city obscures their existence and adversely impacts the visibility of veterans in the community."
Happy Valley officials plan to spend approximately $60,280 in city funds to supplement the $74,500 grant from the state to fund the memorial projected to cost a total of $134,000. Construction site preparation is set to begin July 1, and city officials expect the project will be completed in spring 2021.
A memorial plaza will include a stone labyrinth encouraging visitors to "walk with veterans," symbolic landscaping, sculptural elements and art components. Retaining walls will be engraved to memorialize the veterans' sacrifice.
A master plan submitted to the state was the product of the city's six-month feasibility review in which members of a community Memorial Work Group reviewed various proposal and design options. Eight individuals participated in the work group: five community veterans, one Parks Advisory Committee representative, and two Art Advisory Committee representatives.
"The Work Group was intentionally populated with local veterans," Huff wrote. "By giving veterans a majority voice on the Work Group, the city hopes the memorial will better capture the veteran experience and convey honor in more meaningful, inclusive ways."
This genesis of the Happy Valley Veterans Memorial dates back to 2014, with the installation of a stone labyrinth in the park space adjacent to City Hall. In 2016, the City Council discussed the opportunity to build a memorial park dedicated to veterans. Shortly thereafter, the Work Group was convened.
Letters of support for the city's project were submitted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1324; 364th Civil Affairs Brigade, the U.S. Department of the Army based out of Camp Withycombe, and state Sen. Alan Olsen, R-Canby.