Flag pole to be dedicated at Barracks' Memorial Day ceremony

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter




Salmon Creek, 7:15 a.m., Salmon Creek American Legion Post, 14011 N.E. 20th Ave., open to the public; free breakfast at 6 a.m.

Camas, 9 a.m., Camas Cemetery, 630 N.E. Oak St., with ceremony led by Boy Scouts.

Ridgefield, 9 a.m., Ridgefield Cemetery, Cemetery Road, with ceremony led by Ridgefield and La Center American Legion posts.

La Center, 11 a.m., La Center Cemetery, Highland Road, with ceremony led by Ridgefield and La Center American Legion posts.

Vancouver, 11 a.m., Clark County War Memorial, Vancouver Barracks, Fort Vancouver Way and McClellan Road; keynote speaker is Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan.

Vancouver, 11 a.m., Evergreen Memorial Gardens, 1101 N.E. 112th Ave., with American Veterans Honor Guard, Boy Scouts and Vancouver Community Concert Band.

Washougal, 11 a.m., Washougal Memorial Cemetery, 3329 Q St., with ceremony presented by American Legion Post 122.

Vancouver, 12:30 p.m., American Legion Post 14, 4607 N.E. St. James Road, lunch from 12:30-2:30 p.m., free to all veterans.

The site of the first permanent U.S. Army post in the Northwest will be the setting Monday for Clark County's biggest Memorial Day observance.

The ceremony is slated for 11 a.m. in Vancouver Barracks, at the Veterans War Memorial; the monument lists the names of about 590 local service personnel who died in conflicts ranging from the Spanish-American War to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The keynote speaker is Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, who has deployed four times to Iraq. Buchanan, who was commissioned in 1982, first went to Iraq in 2003 as part of the organization charged with standing up the new Iraqi armed forces. In 2006, he deployed to advise the Iraqi special police.

He deployed to Iraq two more times, in 2007 and 2011, in different command positions, and is now Deputy Commanding General, I Corps, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Tacoma.

Other speakers include U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas; Vancouver Mayor Timothy Leavitt; Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Superintendent Tracy Fortmann; and Army Col. Peter F. Norseth.

The event will open with the dedication of a 30-foot flagpole installed at the war memorial by Patrick Keller. The freshman at Seton Catholic High School installed the flagpole for his Eagle Scout project. The flag was provided by Herrera Beutler after it flew over the U.S. Capitol.

After the event, the public is invited to enjoy a free hot dog lunch.

A historical representation will be part of Vancouver Barracks Memorial Day program.

The "soldiers' bivouac" will feature a reenactment of the 1st Oregon Volunteers, who were stationed at Fort Vancouver during the Civil War. They replaced the regular troops who were called back to join the Union forces.

The Memorial Day ceremony is presented by the Community Military Appreciation Committee, in partnership with the city of Vancouver, National Park Service, Fort Vancouver National Trust and the 40 et 8 veterans organization.

Tom Vogt: 360-735-4558; http://twitter.com/col_history; tom.vogt@columbian.com.