Oregon veterans dedicated the nation’s first border-to-border POW/MIA Memorial Highway in a series of ceremonies across the state on September 18, 2020 - National POW/MIA Recognition Day. The designation of U.S. Highway 26 honors 920 Oregon prisoners of war, including 135 civilians, 999 Oregon military veterans and one civilian listed as missing in action. The project was spearheaded by Dick Tobiason, chairman of the Bend Heroes Foundation.
Chapter 392 helped organize one of these events which was held in Boring, Oregon. The ceremony was hosted at Jaycee Newman Nursery and organized by the Vietnam Veterans of America Oregon State Council and its Portland Chapter 392. The Sandy Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 4273 and its auxiliary assisted. The ceremony location was adjacent to the Highway 26/Highway 212 interchange, where the two Boring signs were installed (eastbound and westbound).
Clackamas County Commissioners Paul Savas and Sonya Fischer were in attendance along with representatives from the American Legion Department of Oregon, Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Oregon and its auxiliary, Vietnam Veterans of America and the National League of POW-MIA Families.
Steve Bates of the Boring Committee on Memorials and Remembrance served as the master of ceremonies of the event. "May these signs cause honor and remembrance of the missing and their families and may these signs cause a greater knowledge and remembrance of the missing," Bates said.
Dick Lovegren, the Oregon coordinator for the National League of POW-MIA Families, gave a presentation at the ceremony. Lovegren's brother is still missing in Vietnam.
Photos on this page are courtesy of Q Madp and Jaycee Newman.
Members of VVA Chapter 392 and friends gathered at Willamette National Cemetery on February 4, 2020 to say farewell to Gary Douglas. Gary passed away on January 5 following a long and heroic battle with cancer. Gary was a board member of Chapter 392 and a friend to all who met him. Gary's ashes were interred along with those of his wife Jeanine.