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Bandon Veterans Memorial

The proposed Bandon Veterans Memorial, which will be located at City Park.

BANDON — The Bandon Veterans Memorial Committee has raised sufficient funds to begin breaking ground for the construction phase of the project.

UPDATE - Nov. 6, 2018: A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Bandon Veterans Memorial site on the corner adjacent to The Barn and Bandon Senior Center in Bandon City Park. The public is welcome to attend. Bricks for the wall are still available for $100 each. Forms are available throughout town (locations listed below).

Following the award of a state grant in early July in the amount of $37,550 from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, and raising the necessary matching funds for that grant, bids are now being put out by the City of Bandon, according to organizers.

"Hopefully, citizens will begin to see activity at the building site in the City Park in the not-to-distant future," said Bill Smith, a member of the Veterans Memorial Committee.

The Bandon Veterans Memorial will be sited on city property in City Park, where the Blue Star Memorial Highway memorial is now located, just south of the Bandon Community Center. The design will consist of engraved bricks with names of those memorialized cemented to a 6-foot wall behind the Blue Star Memorial, utilizing and extending the current platform. Seven flags will be flown on the wall, representing each branch of service.

Memorial bricks will help pay for the structure, and grants and donations are still being sought.

Anyone who would like to memorialize a Bandon-area veteran, living or dead, can now purchase a brick for that purpose, which will be used as part of the overall Bandon Veterans Memorial design.

Bricks, which will be 3 5/8 inches by 7 5/8 inches and 1/2 inch thick can be purchased for $100 each and can include three lines with 20 characters each. There are many choices available as far as text, including dates of service, particular career fields, units, awards and geographical areas of service, foreign or domestic and more.

People can purchase bricks for veterans who, for whatever reason, no longer have relatives in the Bandon area. These might include local veterans going back as far as the Civil War, whose names are on a list at the Bandon Historical Society.

The Veterans Memorial Committee will order and install the bricks and the revenues collected will be applied toward the construction and ongoing maintenance of the memorial. The bricks are intended for men and women, including those of the Air Force, Army Coast Guard, Marines, Merchant Marines, Navy and the state and national guards and reservists who have honorably served the United States during times of war and peace.

At this time, local veterans who have, at one time or another in their lives, been a resident of the Bandon area (meaning they had a Bandon address) are eligible for a brick. Since mailing addresses and other official boundaries have changed over time, there may be an occasion when a Bandon resident has had an official address of a nearby community but actually attended Bandon scools or were "generally considered" by the overall Bandon community to be be Bandon citizens.

"The committee wishes to thank all those who have been so generous with their contributions and purchases of memorial bricks for their veteran loved-ones," Smith said.

Memorial brick forms can be picked up at the VFW, City Hall, Bandon Public Library, Bandon Historical Society Museum and in several banks and businesses. Donations of at least $500 and above will get the donor's name, organization or service club name memorialized on a donor area of the wall.

To donate, make checks out to the Memorial Donation Account and drop them off or mail them to the Bandon VFW, P.O. Box 992, Bandon, OR 97411. 

The Veterans Memorial group meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the VFW Hall on Bates Road and those interested are welcome to attend.

Grants awarded by OPRD

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department awarded five grants out of its Heritage and Community Programs in 2018 totaling $150,00 for projects across the state that create or preserve memorials to veterans or wars. Awards range from range from $8,850-$48,000.

Funded projects included:

-- Documentation and replacement of the terra cotta tile roof of the WWI Dougboy Monument in Astoria, $17,190; match $6,021

-- Addition of a memorial wall recognizing veterans from and living Bandon to the existing Coast Guard monument in Bandon, $37,500; match $29,915

-- Construction of a memorial to commemorate the service of veterans in Warm Springs, $47,000; match $8,850

-- Development of a veterans memorial in Malin, $48,000; match $12,000

-- Construction of a memorial to local veterans from WWI to present in Veneta, $38,416; match $31,796

This competitive grant program was created by the Oregon legislature in 2005. Applicants must be local or tribal governments and the memorial must be on public land.

For more information on the Veteran and War Memorials grant program, visit www.oregonheritage.org or contact Kuri Gill at Kuri.gill@oregon.gov or 503-986-0685.

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Bandon Western World Editor Amy Moss Strong can be reached at 541-347-2423, ext. 305, or by email at amy.moss-strong@theworldlink.com. Follow Bandon Western World on Facebook.

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