The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1324 Three Rivers Commander Greg Arnold presented a $12,000 donation to the City of Oregon City today in support of the City’s initiative to restore the Oregon City Veterans Memorial Plaza. The VFW’s donation provides the funds to purchase the concrete podiums and plaques for each branch of the military.
“We are so grateful to the VFW Post 1324 for their partnership,” said Rachel Lyles Smith, Oregon City Mayor. “The City of Oregon City takes pride in our enduring relationship with the VFW; it is our honor and obligation to help ensure that service members and branches of the military are appropriately recognized. This significant gift from the VFW will go a long way in moving forward the historic work that is happening at the Veterans Memorial Plaza.”
Over a century of history lies in the Veteran's Memorial area, which speaks to the importance of preserving and maintaining the space, while also making sure it remains a safe, usable space for the next century. This memorial located at Mountain View Cemetery 500 Hilda Street, Oregon City, OR recognizes all veterans and houses 16 memorial plaques for service members from WWI, WWII, five sailors, soldiers and four other service members lost in the line of duty.
The project is being conducted by the Oregon City Parks and Recreation Department and will create ADA accessibility, install a new concrete seat wall bench, improve stairs and handrails, relocate bronze memorial plaques, add signage and install podiums to recognize each of the armed forces.
In 2019 the VFW Post 1324 and Parks and Recreation Department began the conversations about renovating the plaza to make it more accessible to those attending annual Memorial Day and Parents of Murdered Children events and to visitors throughout the year.
“We were looking for ways to modernize the plaza, make it accessible and safer,” said Commander Greg Arnold, “I was honored to sit in on the planning process and help provide valuable input and guidance.”
A core planning group consisting of community organizations was involved planning and conceptualizing the space that meets the vision and needs of the community. Several phases will be required for completion of the restoration project.
Kendall Reid, Oregon City Parks and Recreation Director said, “We are excited to be moving forward with this project and appreciate the support of the VFW Post 1324 to help pave the way for a safer and more accessible location where families and the community can gather. It is important that parks reflect the community they serve and are inclusive of the community's culture, background, and identity.”
Work began April 2019 to hire Lango Hansen, Landscape Architects to help plan the renovation. The project broke ground Summer 2021 when the site was demoed and graded. D&D Concrete and Utilities was hired to pour footings, retaining walls, pathway, and stairs. The concrete work, which is the majority of the first phase of the project is anticipated to be complete early October 2021, weather pending.