Oregon has memorials for two of the major 20th century conflicts – the Vietnam and Korean wars – but it remains one of only six states in the U.S. without a permanent memorial for World War II veterans. As the population of living WWII veterans has dwindled in recent years, many in the Oregon veterans community have been speaking up in support of raising a memorial as soon as possible.
Now, the Oregon WWII Memorial Foundation is within striking distance of raising the $1.2 million needed to finally see that dream brought to fruition. The proposed monument would bear the names of the nearly 3800 Oregonians who gave their lives during overseas combat in World War II. Lou Jaffe is the president and treasurer of the foundation, as well as a veteran of the Vietnam War. He says it’s important to erect the memorial soon:
It will preserve the individual stories and experiences of Oregonians who fought for our freedom. The folks from this generation are dying at a considerable rate, and I think it’s important to do this now while some of them still are around to see it.
Are you a veteran of World War II? What will it mean to you to finally see a memorial in Oregon?
- Gerry Frank: Veteran of WWII
- Lou Jaffe: President and treasurer of the Oregon WWII Memorial Foundation