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Remembering Our Fallen

Published: May 12, 2021

“Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future.” - Elie Wiesel. Here in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region of Oregon, we remember those who have served and died with gratitude and pride. With Memorial Day just around the corner, learn about the military memorials, museums and events in Lane County.

Eugene and Springfield

Opening its doors in 1991, the Oregon Air & Space Museum is dedicated to acquiring and displaying various aircraft and artifacts which depict the history of aviation and space technology. This includes displays of full-sized WWI and WWII aircraft which have become popular educational tools. This small museum has hosted a number of military reunions.

Catch glimpses of the wonderful Willamette River when visiting Eugene’s Wall of Honor Memorial. This 12-foot tall granite memorial wall is located in the ADA accessible Skinner Butte Park. Inscribed with the names of 451 Lane County veterans who were killed in war from World War I through Operation Desert Storm, this memorial lends itself to quiet reflection. Explore the rest of the park or take a short hike to the top of Skinner’s Butte when you are done.

Just over six miles away, is the Springfield Veterans’ Memorial Plaza. This Springfield veterans' memorial has ADA accessible benches available for reflection. This large monument is etched with a soldier carrying a M-16 rifle while a Huey helicopter hovers in the background. Each veteran's name is engraved on the reverse side. An additional sculpture was added in 2017 to honor all women veterans who have served in combat, making it the first memorial of its kind in the state of Oregon. 

B-17 Bomber by Colin Morton

Cascade Foothills

Cottage Grove is excited to welcome the US Air Force Band of the Golden West on August 25 for a special finale of their annual Concerts in the Park series at Bohemia Park. The United States Air Force Band of the Golden West has a long history that dates back to 1941. Stationed in the San Francisco Bay area at Travis Air Force Base, the Band of the Golden West is the only active duty Air Force band west of the Rockies and is comprised of about 60 talented and versatile Airmen-musicians under the command of Major Joseph S. Hansen. In addition to performing for civilian communities throughout the states of California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Nevada, the band supports 13 Air Force Bases, eight Air Force Reserve Wings, and six recruiting squadrons in over 250 annual performances for 1.5 million listeners.

Oregon Coast Military Museum Exterior by Angie Riley

Oregon Coast

There are also many options to meet and host a military reunion on the Oregon Coast. One such option is located just outside the Florence Municipal airport. By “Honoring Our Veterans by Educating Our Public,” the Oregon Coast Military Museum is a small but poignant place for people to gather and interact with pieces of the past. With its focus being on preserving personal stories from local military veterans, the Oregon Coast Military Museum exhibits and dioramas highlight all periods of military conflict and all aspects of military service. This museum has limited meeting space, making it perfect for small military reunions or small receptions.
 
Located in Old Town Florence, the Florence Veteran’s Memorial Park features a Veterans’ Memorial Wall with veterans' names inscribed on bricks and the park hosts annual Flag Day, Memorial Day, D-Day and Veteran's Day observances. Columns represent all five service branches and display their respective military insignias. Complemented by stunning views of the Siuslaw River, this special park provides the public with a place to contemplate, remember and thank our veterans for their service and sacrifice.

Just a short walk from the Florence Veteran’s Memorial Park is the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum. An old school building constructed in 1905, the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum features artifacts and an extensive photo collection from times of old. While this museum is mainly focused on displaying relics and historical information from the Florence area, it has a military room. Uniforms worn by local citizens, mostly from World War II through the Korean War, are on display along with other artifacts dating from the Spanish-American War to the Vietnam conflict. Additional cameras and weaponry are also on display in this area.

Host Your Next Military Event Here

Consider hosting your next military memorial ceremony or reunion in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region of Oregon. The region has several military units and Veterans of Foreign Wars that are always willing to help make your event memorable. Plus, our staff will go above and beyond to help you plan and host a successful event. Contact us today.
 

Author: Katerine Morton

An Oregonian at heart, Katerine Morton grew up in Lane County and attended Oregon State University, where she got her degree in Digital Communication Arts before returning to Eugene-Springfield. She loves running, trying out new restaurants and is passionate about dance.