During World War II, 150,000 Oregonians from all walks of life served the country in Europe and the Pacific. Thousands more contributed at home. Their shared sacrifices and that sense of common purpose shaped the Oregon - and the America - we know today. Those stories can continue to inspire us and future generations of Oregonians to think about what it means to come together for a single purpose.
Many of us have heard stories about World War II from our parents and grandparents - about the war in Europe and the Pacific and the hard work on the home front. But we were surprised to learn that Oregon is one of only six states that has not created a dedicated World War II memorial.
Join us now to contribute to the Memorial and honor those stories!
Oregon’s enduring contribution to the war effort did not stop at sending more than 152,000 troops into combat zones around the world. On the home front, Oregonians worked in shipyards, organized war material drives, sacrificed by rationing, willingly participated in rolling blackouts and experienced the only attack and casualties to reach American soil. Their efforts transcended gender, class and roles. Japanese Americans in Oregon were taken into custody by the FBI and DOJ immediately after Pearl Harbor while thousands more were sent to interment camps for the duration of the war. Hundreds of these Oregonians also served in the Military Intelligence Service and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and worked on farms in Eastern Oregon.
World War II touched every Oregonian, unifying communities with a calling bigger than themselves.
When the war ended, hundreds of thousands of Oregonians returned home to civilian life. For many, the war years were enough adventure for a lifetime. They were proud of their accomplishments but rarely discussed their experiences, even with each other. They became once again, ordinary people, the kind of men and women who always have been the foundation of Oregon’s way of life.
Today about 20,850 of these extraordinary men and women who served in WWII remain in Oregon. Soon, the “Greatest Generation” will be gone. In true Oregonian form, we decided we needed to do something about that, particularly because more and more World War II vets are passing on each year. Then-Governor Kulongoski and the Oregon state legislature asked a great group of Oregonians to come together to commemorate and celebrate those shared sacrifices.
Let's Build and Share
We’re close to being able to build Oregon’s World War II Memorial at the Capitol in Salem, but now we need your help to bring the memorial to life. We want this memorial to be more than beautiful granite. We want it to also be a gateway for the stories from at home and abroad during World War II. Even though we are very close to our fundraising goal, there is still more work to be done and we need your help to make this last push for fundraising successful! We need to raise the money to collect the stories and share them through an interactive kiosk at the Memorial and online. With your help, we can construct the kiosk and buy three “story kits” to collect stories from the vets and those who served at home and and share these stories at the Memorial and virtually all over Oregon.
Let's all come together now to help finish the job. Contribute now to make sure we do.
Honoring A Specific Individual through Your Contribution
You can specifically give in the name of a family member or friend or an individual or group you want to honor! Once you click on the "Contribute Now" button in the upper right of this page, you'll be taken to pages where you can enter the amount you want to contribute, select from one of the perks, enter your contact information, and pay via credit card. One you've done that, you'll see a "Thank You" screen. There, click on the "change your visibility" link and you'll be taken to a screen where you can select "credited to another name" and you can enter whoever you want to honor in your donation.
Anyone who donates at any level will get their name listed on the Oregon WWII Memorial website (http://oregonwwiimemorial.com/). Those who wish to remain anonymous will be listed as Anonymous.
Drawing on inspiration from posters created during the World War II era, we've created postcards, posters, and t-shirts with the image below for this project.
We also have a commemorative patch and a limited edition commemorative coin (see below) with an illustration of the Memorial and the Capitol.
At the highest perk levels, we'll work one-on-one with you to help capture your / your family member's World War II memories and stories, through either writing, creating a storybook, digitizing your photos, or making a short, edited video of your story. We'll contact you to make arrangements following the raise.
Today about 20,850 of these extraordinary men and women who served in WWII remain in Oregon. Soon, the “Greatest Generation” will be gone. We have possibly our last opportunity to make sure that all of us across Oregon honor their sacrifices and that we preserve their stories for future generations to come.