Boring to build memorial for Clackamas County Vietnam veterans
With hopes of celebrating Veteran's Day around a brand new tribute to Clackamas County heroes, Boring's Committee on Memorials and Remembrance, Friends of Boring Station Trailhead Park and the Boring, Oregon Foundation are hard at work to gain county approval and the needed funds for a Vietnam memorial in their town.
"The Vietnam War was my generation's war," Steve Bates, Boring resident and chair of the committee says. Though he did not fight in Vietnam, he wants to commemorate those who did.
Bates grew up in a military town and was prepared by his high school ROTC program to enlist as a marine if needed, but his number was never pulled in the draft lottery.
"I experienced the American dream," Bates says of his motivation to honor his fallen neighbors. "I feel a debt since they gave up their American dream so I could have mine."
As the park is owned by Clackamas County, the band of organizations is seeking approval from the Clackamas County Parks Committee so it may proceed with fundraisers and planning of the site's building and maintenance.
However, the efforts to honor the fallen from Clackamas County did not start with this project.
In researching those lost in the Vietnam War, members of the committee found that of the the 42 soldiers from Clackamas County who died while serving in Vietnam, four were from Boring, and two of them were brothers.
This set the committee off on a mission to honor those families, and in achieving that goal, it has already had one bill to dedicate portions of Highway 26 to the Wright family pass through the state legislature as of May 2016. Bills to honor the two other families are still currently awaiting approval.
Talk of the 7-foot high, 3-foot wide slab, black granite monument started in January 2016.
The specific design would mimic that of the memorial dedicated to the Lane County veterans in Springfield last November, in part because the engineering for the project would then already be done and because the material is easily maintained and not easily stained by possible graffiti.
The group has only recently started discussing ways to raise funds. So far, they have $1,000 and need $15,000 total to complete the project.
"We're ready to make this a project that will work," Bates says.
One major goal of the group in their discussions has been to make it inviting for people to come and sit with their thoughts.
Another is to inspire and instill a sense of camaraderie.
"Never again will one generation abandon another," said Jaycee Newman, Veteran and Committee on Memorials and Remembrance secretary.
Tax deductible donations can be made to the Vietnam Memorial Fund, Boring, Oregon Foundation, P.O. Box 1448, Boring, OR.97009.