In February 2002 a member of the local Veterans of
Foreign Wars came up with the idea of building a
Verterans Memorial that would honor all veterans, no
matter when or where they served. The only
qualification was that they were Honorably
Discharged and resided in south Douglas County.
After discussing the idea with other VFW members it
was taken to the entire membership and was
approved. It was then requested of the City Council
that a portion of the parking area be authorized for
such a structure, which was also approved.
The first donations received were from the Cow Creek
Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians and the Canyonville
Lions Club. The members of the VFW started other
Construction was done by Bill Pappas, who donated all
labor and materials. It was completed in late summer of 2002. Two additions had to be made from the original design as the VFW received many more names for the memorial than were expected. The oldest veteran listed is William P. Thomason who fought in the Mexican War in 1847, and who incidentally is the Great Grandfather of Sue Schaffer, Cow Creek Tribal Chairperson.
A formal dedication was held on Veterans Day, November 11, 2002, and was attended by many dignitaries of various veterans' organizations, federal, state and county officials.
Names are still being added to the memorial which now total nearly 800.