Yard signs to pay tribute to Washington County veterans
For the first time since it began in 2012, the annual Tualatin Veterans Recognition Breakfast is being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This year's Veterans Recognition Event will look a lot different than past years — sadly, we won't be able to hold a large breakfast gathering at the Juanita Pohl Center in November," said Sara Shepherd, the center's supervisor. "Despite not being able to have the actual breakfast, there are many ways to continue to honor and recognize our local veterans during the month of November."
That includes not only a special online tribute to those veterans who submitted videos and photos to the city for an online slide show, but also the opportunity to have a yard sign placed in the yard of any veteran who asks.
Veterans are asked to fill out a yard sign request form at tualatinoregon.gov/recreation/webforms/tualatin-honors-veterans-yard-signs or by calling 503-691-3061. They will be available for pick-up at the Juanita Pohl Center, 8513 S.W. Tualatin Road, or requests can be made for a home delivery. The deadline is Oct. 25.
As of last week, Tualatin veterans had made requests for 50 signs, said Shepherd.
According to Dale Potts, who helps out with both the breakfast and the annual Memorial Day tribute at Winona Cemetery, the original breakfast was started in 2012 by Matt Saviello, the former supervisor of the Pohl Center.
"He did it in honor of his father, a Vietnam Vet who lived in Chicago," said Potts, who is retired from the U.S. Navy and served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown. "I attended the event in 2013 and joined the team the next year to get speakers and keep the program in military format."
As the tribute grew, Potts said Saviello was able to find local business and merchants who donated door prizes and food.
For Potts, this is the second veterans event in one year that had to be canceled due to the COVID-19, the first being the Tualatin Memorial Day observance held May 25. Potts did show up for that Memorial Day, wearing a surgical mask, joining a small contingent of other veterans to pay tribute those in the armed services.
Meanwhile, the pandemic has forced Sherwood to cancel its annual Veterans Day Ceremony — normally held at the Sherwood Center for the Arts — as well.
However, the city is doing something similar to Tualatin in an effort to thank the men and women who served their country. There is a message of appreciation on both the city's Facebook page and YouTube station.
In addition, the city is offering free "A Veteran Lives Here" yard signs.
"This is a free community effort provided by the City of Sherwood, to support and acknowledge our community members and neighbors who have served our country," the city website states. "The signs allow for both social distancing throughout the Sherwood community and the opportunity to recognize our neighbors."
The signs can be picked up beginning Oct. 28 at Adams Screenprint, 14960 S.W. Tualatin-Sherwood Road.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.