PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — The city of Portland has launched an online memorial honoring local fallen veterans while it decides how to replace the aging physical display at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The online memorial features the names and biographies of all veterans memorialized at the coliseum and much more. Among other things, it includes a history of the coliseum and original memorial, and an invitation to submit stories of other veterans.
The online memorial went live on Friday, May 27, three days ahead of Memorial Day. It can be found at portland.gov/veteransmemorial.
The memorial at the coliseum is over 50 years old. When originally installed in the sunken garden next to the entrance, it included large granite walls engraved with the names of the veterans being honored, beginning with Charles H. Abercrombie and ending with Jack L. Zugman. And additional inscription at the top of the one wall reads: “To the memory of a supreme sacrifice we honor those who gave their lives for God, principle and love of country.”
But the infrastructure holding the walls in place has deteriorate. One of the walls was closed and the other was also in danger of falling.
For the safety of visitors, the city removed the memorial walls outside coliseum in early 2022. They are being safely stored while the city explores long-term options for both the coliseum, which needs to be renovated, and the memorial. The online memorial is intended to continue honoring the veterans in the meantime, while also explaining the situation and offering far more information about each of them that had been easily available.
According to the online memorial, “The City is committed to ensure that any future project is inclusive, consistently recognizing local veterans and representing those who lost their lives in all military conflicts.”
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