SALEM, Ore. – Dedication ceremony for the newly completed Oregon World War II Memorial is set for 1:30pm today. It will include fly overs by vintage military aircraft, a ribbon cutting and a number of guest speakers, including Governor John Kitzhaber, Secretary of State Kate Brown and former state representative and World War II bomber pilot Bill Markham.
KXL’s Pat Boyle took her favorite soldier to the memorial for a sneak peek earlier this week. Her Dad, John S. Boyle was an 18 year old Army private who drove a tank and landed in Okinawa. He was hit by shrapnel nine days later, was awarded a Purple Heart and sent back to the states to heal. Boyle, who is 90, calls the memorial “nice”. A woman who introduced herself as Judy walked up to him and thanked him for his service.
The World War II Memorial at the corner of Cottage and Court Street covers a 75 foot by 75 foot area on the capital grounds. A 33 foot high obelisk stands in the center and is surrounded by two black granite walls with the names of more than 3,770 Oregonians who died in the war.
It is estimated more than 17,000 of Oregon’s World War II veterans are still alive.