It is easy to overlook the old bridge on Southeast Court Place in Pendleton, across from the Veterans of Foreign Wars “Let ‘er Buck” Post 922.
Built in 1914, the structure used to run over a canal that carried water to the Byers Flour Mill downtown. Since the mill burned down in 1947 — taking an entire city block with it — the bridge has largely faded into the background as new development moved into the area.
Ken Garrett, a former captain of the Pendleton Fire Department and Korean War veteran, figures most people walk or drive past the bridge now without really noticing it. But Garrett, 85, insists it could be something more. He has requested the city designate the bridge as a memorial not only for his fellow veterans, but also for peace.
“I’d like to see peace in the world,” Garrett said, flipping through a collection of wartime photos and news articles at his Pendleton home. “People of the world need to start caring for each other.”
Garrett penned a letter to the Pendleton City Council in November to raise the issue of a memorial at the bridge, which he envisions as a “vessel of change, from war and hate to peace and friendship.”
“It needs to reflect the past, and the hopes and prayers of the future,” Garrett wrote. As part of the memorial, Garrett said the city could also give the bridge a fresh coat of stucco and bronze job on the iron piping. On one side, the bridge could