Medallions get OK for Pendleton vets memorial

Pendleton is one step closer to getting an official veterans memorial.

The Pendleton City Council approved the $3,310 purchase of five bronze medallions for a memorial sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Let’Er Buck Post 922.

Charles Denight, chairman of the arts commission, explained that the VFW had already done much of the legwork on the proposed memorial at the old fountain space near the intersection of Highway 11 and Southeast Court Avenue.

The 16-inch medallions, one for each branch of the military, will be mounted on basalt columns that have already been purchased by the VFW. Denight said the VFW has also worked with the Pendleton Parks and Recreation Department to clean the site and prepare it for the memorial.

Although the columns and medallions will be installed soon, the project is far from over.

Denight said the columns will be installed in a circular formation in anticipation of placing a centerpiece of art to complete the memorial.

He said the VFW is still developing a concept or theme for the art, but Denight said the organization wants to keep it intentionally open-ended to give artists leeway in their interpretations when it sends out a request for proposal.

The cost of the medallions comes from the city’s art fund, which is funded by a $1.75 earmark from the transient room tax.

Also closer to reality is a new fixed route service from Pendleton’s transportation program.

The council approved two Oregon Department of Transportation grants that will help establish the new service and pay for a