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News / Clark County News

Veterans Day observances set Friday, Saturday around Clark County

The many roles filled by veterans will be a key theme

By Tom Vogt, Columbian Science, Military & History Reporter
Published: November 8, 2016, 6:02am
3 Photos
Dr. Ed McAninch, a longtime Camas physician, displays the French Legion of Honor medal he received in December for his World War II service.
Dr. Ed McAninch, a longtime Camas physician, displays the French Legion of Honor medal he received in December for his World War II service. (Amanda Cowan/Columbian files) Photo Gallery

The many roles filled by veterans will be celebrated Friday in several observances around Clark County.

Sites of public Veterans Day celebrations include the Armed Forces Reserve Center in east Vancouver; downtown Ridgefield; and Battle Ground, where the city has moved its event indoors.

• The 11 a.m. observance at the Armed Forces Reserve Center, 15005 N.E. 65th St., will feature Clark County Manager Mark McCauley, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel.

During McCauley’s 20 years in the Army, he held command and director positions in personnel, human resources, finance and recruiting operations. He will discuss the value veterans bring to our community on the job and as volunteers.

Col. Tom Olson, military host, will focus on soldiers based at the Armed Forces Reserve Center and their recent military deployments. Other scheduled speakers include Vancouver Mayor Pro Tem Anne McEnerny-Ogle, who will discuss the military history of Vancouver Barracks; and Republican state Reps. Paul Harris and Lynda Wilson, who will offer personal reflections on veterans.

Representatives of agencies and community groups that work with veterans will staff information booths at the Reserve Center, near Fourth Plain Boulevard and Ward Road. There also will be a 10 a.m. reception.

The event is presented by the Community Military Appreciation Committee.

• In Battle Ground, the 11 a.m. ceremony will be led by Mayor Philip Johnson, who was in the Army for 25 years. The ceremony has been moved to the Battle Ground Community Center, 912 E. Main St. Originally scheduled for the community’s Veterans War Memorial, it was shifted indoors because of a forecast of inclement weather.

The ceremony will feature a reading of the names of 31 servicemen on the memorial wall. Battle Ground also will recognize several city employees who are veterans.

• In Ridgefield, the Veterans Day observance will be at 3:30 p.m. at the city Veterans Memorial, 117 N. Third Ave., at the downtown fire station.

The ceremony by American Legion Post 44 will include a rifle salute.

WWII soldiers’ stories

The personal stories of two World War II soldiers will be presented Saturday in events hosted by local historical groups.

• Longtime Camas physician Dr. Ed McAninch will be the featured speaker at the Camas-Washougal Historical Society’s annual meeting Saturday. It will be at 2 p.m. at the Camas Police Department, 2100 N.E. Third Ave., Camas.

McAninch refers to his presentation as an old soldier’s reminiscences.

“My stories are in a humorous vein and are about being in the Army and how they got things right, but never exactly right,” he said.

McAninch also will tell how he provided covering fire while his commanding officer attacked German machine-gunners who were firing at his platoon from inside a French farmhouse; the officer was awarded the Medal of Honor.

• Prairie High School student Ally Orr and Pleasant Valley Middle School teacher Rene Soohoo will discuss their research on a D-Day fatality at 7 p.m. Saturday at the North Clark Historical Museum, 21416 N.E. 399th St., Amboy.

Orr and Soohoo, her former middle school history teacher, were among 15 student-teacher teams from around the nation chosen to travel to Europe for a Normandy Scholar grant. Orr researched Pfc. Lester Ernest Whitesel Sr., who died on June 6, 1944.

A native of the Grays Harbor area, Whitesel was a member of Company G, 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.

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Columbian Science, Military & History Reporter