FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2023
(Douglas County, Ore) The Douglas County Board of Commissioners are pleased to announce that Douglas County Government was awarded an Oregon Heritage - Veterans and War Memorial grant from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) to renovate the fifty-two-year-old Douglas County War Memorial (Memorial) located at the Douglas County Courthouse in Roseburg, Oregon. The grant, in the amount of $58,919, requires a 20% match in funding/donations which will come from the County, the local veteran’s community, military organizations and in-kind donations. The total renovation project is expected to begin this summer and is projected to take about a year to complete. The total cost of the renovation is estimated at $80,000.
Douglas County Government, via the Douglas County Board of Commissioners (DCBOC) are partnering with the Douglas County Veterans Forum (DCVF) (a federally recognized 501 (c) (3) organization (non-profit partner) and the Douglas County Veterans Advisory Committee (DCVAC) to facilitate the renovation project. The project includes refurbishing and replacing bronze plaques containing the names of our fallen Douglas County wartime heroes; refurbishing and updating the aging memorial grounds, base, concrete and wall; adding a new Purple Heart Memorial; adding new bronze gold star and blue star plaques; adding two new flag poles to the front of the Courthouse in order to properly display the United States, Oregon and POW/MIA flags and beautifying the grounds around the Memorial.
The Memorial proudly resides on the well-kept grounds of the Douglas County Courthouse, on the lawn near the front entrance under the beautiful canopy of our 125-year-old Courthouse Heritage Elm Tree. The Memorial was originally built in 1971 to honorably display a list of our Douglas County casualties of war. Over the years the memorial has been added to with plaques containing names of fallen wartime individuals and new battles/conflicts. The Memorial underwent a small restoration project in 2007, but several repair items were able not to be completed due to budget constraints. The Memorial has experienced continued disrepair, deterioration, and erosion from the elements over the years that desperately need to be addressed.
“The primary goal of this restoration project is to preserve the integrity of our War Memorial site, so it remains beautiful, reverent, and accessible for future generations. Our county motto, "We Honor Veterans," stands as a testament to our commitment and ongoing support for our local veterans and in honoring those who have given all in service to our country. The restoration project allows us to continue to provide an impactful historical point of interest that honors our fallen wartime heroes, reaffirms our sincere gratitude for their ultimate sacrifice and reminds our community that they will never be forgotten,” stated Commissioner Tim Freeman.
The project came to fruition via a concern presented at a DCVAC meeting in late 2022. It was then discussed at several DCVF meetings and voted on at the January 17, 2023, meeting. Members of DCVF motioned and voted unanimously to have the DCVF provide support for the project. The proposal was brought before the DCVAC Board and the DCBOC for their support. Both boards tendered their full support and commitment to the restoration project. The project is being managed by the Douglas County Building Facilities Department, with help from a cadre of dedicated local veterans led by veteran and purple heart recipient Rick Sciapiti, the DCVF and the DCVAC.
“The Douglas County Forum is pleased to provide support for the upgrade to the Douglas County War Memorial. This Memorial is a tribute to Douglas County Veterans who lost their lives while serving this country. We owe a big thank you to Rick Sciapiti for his vision and drive to see this project through. He enlisted the help of many organizations both in and outside of the veteran’s community, as well as state and county governments to see this project through. When he approached our County Commissioners, they were eager to help with this project. The Commissioners continue to support and honor all veterans and particularly those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.” said Gwen Best, President of the Douglas County Veterans Forum.
The Oregon Heritage - Veterans and War Memorial grant is one of a variety of the $13 million in grants offered annually by OPRD to support outdoor recreation, historic preservation, conservation, and more. The Veterans and War Memorial grant is available to local governments for building and restoring veteran's and war memorials.
"The 250 names on the Douglas County War Memorial represent unequaled courage, strength, and sacrifice. Securing that their sacrifice will always be remembered begins right here where they grew up. It’s an honor to be a part with so many other people working on the upgrade and restoration of the Douglas County War Memorial site," remarked Rick Sciapiti.
Media Contact: Tamara Howell, Douglas County Emergency Communications & Community Engagement Specialist, Douglas County Public Affairs Office | Office: (541) 957-4896 | Cell: (541) 670-2804 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org