Oregon Parks and Recreation Department holds online town hall Jan. 20 on proposed State Capitol State Park Vietnam War memorial

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The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will hold an online question-and-answer session at 6 p.m. on January 20 to collect public feedback on a nonprofit organization’s proposal to construct a Vietnam War Memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol State Park in Salem. The session will include a presentation by the proposer, the Vietnam War Memorial Fund (http://vietnamwarmemorialfund.org).

To participate in the event, free registration required at http://bit.ly/oregoncapitolvietnam. The deadline for comment is January 22, 2021.

The project proposes to install sculptures, plaques, benches, and walkways to memorialize different aspects of the war and military service. It would be just southwest of the World War II memorial, the Parade of Animals play structure, and a gazebo. Nearly all the trees in this area would be incorporated into the proposed design. Three trees would be removed (details online). One part of the memorial honors Gold Star Families using a standard design, and the nonprofit has identified three possible locations in the park for its installation. One option would require moving the Parade of Animals to a different part of Willson Park. A Gold Star Family is one that has lost an immediate family member in the line of duty of military service.

A draft plan of the memorial is online as is a  video walkthrough.

After collecting public feedback, a committee will submit a report to OPRD Director Lisa Sumption with recommendations. After the Director’s review, the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Commission could act on the proposal at its February 25, 2021 meeting.

Artist rendering

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