ALCOVE (5)  1972 - 75

VIETNAM VETERANS OF OREGON

LIVING MEMORIAL

VIETNAM AND OREGON

VIETNAM VETERANS OF OREGON

LIVING MEMORIAL

. . . War Events (3) . . .

When the North launched a massive attack that threatened Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, the US retaliated with more bombing and by extensively mining the harbors of North Vietnam.

This was a very severe blow to the North and both the USSR and China urged the North to negotiate.  But these negotiations, like so many before, soon broke down.  As a result, the US carried out the Christmas bombing campaign of 1972, the most intense of the war.

Negotiations resumed.  North Vietnam agreed to return prisoners of war and acknowledge (and respect) that South Vietnam was a sovereign nation.  On our part, the US agreed to withdraw our troops.  In January of 1973, a Cease-Fire agreement was signed.

But despite the Cease-Fire agreement, war between North Vietnam and South Vietnam continued on until the South came to be overwhelmed and then occupied by the North in 1975. 

 

The war, at last, had finally come to an end.  In the terrible reach and power of its havoc, more than one million human beings had been killed, Vietnamese and Americans alike.

. . . Home Events (1) . . .

A Russian trawler avoided a confrontation of super-powers at the mouth of the Columbia River.  Accused of damaging gear owned by Astoria fishermen and pursued by the US Coast Guard, the trawler slipped out into the open sea under cover of heavy fog.

A 117-year-old controversy ended in Central Oregon when thousands of acres of valuable timber were returned to the Tribes of Warm Springs.

And controversy of another kind showed signs of resolution.  For the first time, a Black person served in our state legislature and another on the Portland City Council.  But at Rockaway, storms both political and elemental struck.  Recalls and resignations disrupted local government while a high wind ripped off the roof of the town swimming pool.

. . . Home Events (2) . . .

But peace prevailed in most other places.  In The Dalles, the Elks and Salvation Army combined to fund a Meals-on-Wheels program to serve the elderly and shut-ins. 

 

In Cottage Grove, a chaplain was assigned to its police force while the compassionate citizens of Ontario created a "rap" phone line for people in trouble to call.  The Shakespeare Festival in Ashland joined with another important festival, Ashland's Centenary.

. . . Home Events (4) . . .

But the war continued to touch our state with sorrow.  A released POW, coming back to Hermiston, found his wife had gone and his father had died.  And Myrtle Point and Sweet Home each received far more than their share of tragic telegrams saying that a local boy had been killed or wounded half a world away.

In these years there were also two events that well symbolized Oregon's diversity.  Next to the Columbia River near Rainier, our first atomic power plant was built.  During the same period of time, state officials counted 867 wild horses out beyond Vale.

. . . Home Events (5) . . .

Such, then, were some of the happenings in Oregon during these years of war in Vietnam, events both grave and blithe, both nonsensical and notable, both spectacular and ordinary, the multitudinous life of a place that the 751 men remembered here were not to see again.