Photo by Mark Gibson
“This structure before you is the first monument in our nation to military personnel who gave their lives in World War I” reads a plaque outside Stonehenge at Maryhill. The reproduction memorialized 13 Klickitat County men, whose names, on plaques, are mounted on pillars within the inner circle.
See also our story on the history of World War 1.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and a local veteran group is saluting families that had a loved one in the military from July 1914 to November 1918.
The Mid-Columbia Veterans Memorial Committee will pay tribute to five local men who died in that multinational conflict that was called “the war to end all wars.”
“We really want the businesses and community to participate in this year’s Veterans’ Day parade to show their support for veterans and to commemorate this important anniversary,” said Pat Lucas, organizer.
She invites families who had someone serve in WW1 to ride in the parade, which takes place Monday, Nov. 12 instead of the traditional Nov. 11 — the day a century ago that the cease fire agreement was signed — to avoid a conflict with church services.
Area churches are being asked to join the National Salute organized by the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. At 11 a.m. on Nov. 12, churches are asked to ring steeple bells 21 times at five-second intervals, followed by two minutes of silence.
The parade will assemble at Eighth and Webber streets before setting off east on Sixth Street at 11 a.m. The assemblage will travel onto Third Street to the east end of the downtown blocks before turning onto Second Street and heading back to Webber.
Applications to enter a float in the parade are now available at The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce office, 404 West Second Street. Decorations should be of a patriotic theme.
“If it’s a little uncomfortable to be in the parade, it’s still less of a sacrifice than our vets made,” said Glenn Hantelman, an Army veteran who has researched Oregon’s involvement in WWI.
Hantelman came across the names of these Army soldiers killed in action during WW I: Sgt. Frank Brown of Rufus; Private Elvin Haugen of Dufur; Private Forrest Isom of Mosier; Private Terry Jones of Wamic; and Corporal Anders Schultz of Moro.
One of the deadliest conflicts in global history had Germany, Italy and Japan on one side and the allied forces of Britain, France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, the Soviet Union, China and eventually the United States on the other.
In total, 53,402 American troops were killed in combat during the war and 204,002 were injured. About 3,550 were declared missing.
Lynn Guenther, a retired Air Force colonel and Prisoner of War in Vietnam, will be one of the grand marshals for the 2018 Veterans Day Parade. He grew up in The Dalles and currently resides in Hood River County.
Also riding in style will be Ada Wyn Parker, the first female to work on airplanes during World War II. She resides in The Dalles and has made several “Rosie the Riveter” appearances this year, which included meeting President Donald Trump during the Memorial Day weekend and riding in the national parade through Washington D.C. streets.
Another “Rosie” also lives in town and will ride in the parade. Muriel Walters, who also resides at a local assisted living facility, joined Parker and nearly 19 million other women who answered the call to meet domestic labor demands while male workers were deployed.
Roderick Francis Martin, a World War II veteran, is also a dignitary in the parade.
“This is a good time for people to come out and thank these veterans and our two ‘Rosies’ for their service,” said Lucas.
Following the parade, there will be a potluck at the Oregon Veterans’ Home, 700 Veterans Drive, that is sponsored by MCVMC and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2471 and Auxiliary, which will provide chicken and some side dishes, along with beverages.
Community members are invited to bring a favorite dish to share and meet some of the veterans who are their neighbors.
“This is a great opportunity for people to socialize,” said Lucas.
She can be reached for more information at 541-298-2377.