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Local events pay tribute to military veterans

Fort Vancouver High welding students create commemorative crosses

By Tom Vogt, Columbian Science, Military & History Reporter
Published: November 7, 2013, 4:00pm
2 Photos
Dave Richards, Fort Vancouver High School welding teacher, looks over 58 steel crosses made by his welding students.
Dave Richards, Fort Vancouver High School welding teacher, looks over 58 steel crosses made by his welding students. The crosses represent the 58 people who'd attended the former Vancouver High School and Fort Vancouver High School who have died during almost a century of military conflicts dating back to World War I. Photo Gallery

The community’s annual Veterans Day ceremony shifts to a new location Monday, with an 11 a.m. observance at the Armed Forces Reserve Center, 15005 N.E. 65th St.

Monday’s ceremony, presented by the nonprofit Community Military Appreciation Committee, will be one of several events over the next few days honoring our nation’s veterans.

The local commemorations range from federal programs to hometown thank-you lunches.

Fort Vancouver High School is marking the weekend with a salute to a century of service by students who attended Fort and its forerunner, Vancouver High. A display of 58 steel crosses honors 58 students who have died in conflicts dating back to World War I.

Those WWI casualties would have attended Vancouver High, which opened in 1913 at 26th and Main streets. When Fort Vancouver opened in the 1950s, it inherited the Trapper name and other elements of VHS heritage, said Dave Richards, whose welding students built and installed the commemorative steel crosses.

The events:

• Saturday parade.

The Fort Vancouver National Trust is hosting the 27th Annual Veterans Parade at Fort Vancouver, beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, at the east end of Officers Row at East Reserve Street.

The ceremony preceding the parade, beginning at 10 a.m. on the Marshall House lawn, 1301 Officers Row, will feature keynote speaker Col. Ramona Fiorey, who assumed command of Madigan Army Medical Center on Aug. 9.

The parade includes more than 125 entries with about 2,500 individuals marching or riding along the route.

• Veterans Day.

Vancouver’s Veterans Day ceremony on Monday features keynote speaker U.S. Army Col. Mark Snyder. Other speakers include U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas; Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt; Lt. Col. J.D. Litton, and retired Major Gen. Curt Loop.

Music will be provided by the 204th Army Band; the rifle salute and taps will be provided by the Veterans of Foreign Wars; colors will be posted by the Vancouver Army Recruiting Company. Vancouver City Councilor Larry Smith, a retired Army colonel and co-chair of CMAC, will host the event.

Beginning at 9:45 a.m., the Reserve Center will have an open house with refreshments and activities.

There will be activities for children, including opportunities to make Christmas and holiday cards for military members overseas and veterans in hospitals.

The center just south of Fourth Plain Boulevard and Ward Road became the home of local military units after Vancouver Barracks was transferred to the National Park Service in May 2012.

• Free at the fort.

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will offer free admission to the reconstructed stockade on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Fort Vancouver, 1001 E. Fifth St., is one 401 national parks waiv

ing admission fees in observance of the Veterans Day weekend.

• Grange tribute.

A Saturday community celebration honoring veterans will be presented by the Mountain Valley Grange and the North Clark Historical Museum.

The event begins with a 5:30 p.m. dessert social at the Mountain Valley Grange Hall, 40107 N.E. 221st Ave., Amboy. The tribute begins at 7 p.m. with a presentation of the colors.

Admission is $3 ($1.50 for children.) For information, call 360-247-5800 or 360-247-6057.

• Riverside lunch.

Riverside Seventh-day Adventist Church will host a lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday at its fellowship hall, 463 N. Shepherd Road, Washougal.

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Hamburgers, hot dogs and their veggie equivalents will be served. There will be no charge, but donations will be accepted. For information, call 360-835-3114.

• Wednesday lunch.

Ridgefield Community United Methodist Church will host a free appreciation lunch for all veterans, their spouses and widows at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The church is at 1410 S. Hillhurst Road, Ridgefield. For information, call 360-887-8312.

Columbian Science, Military & History Reporter