In February 2002 a member of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars came up with the idea of building a Veterans 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 local fund-raising.
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 80