VIETNAM VETERANS OF OREGON
TO DESIGN A LIVING MEMORIAL
(by Doug Macy)
This Living Memorial is a place rather than an object. Designed both to engage and involve the visitor in a sequential experience, the Garden consists of quiet groves, open expanses of lawns, a formal processional, a central outdoor room, and spiral walk which ascends a gentle slope up into the forest and view of Mt. Hood.
This spiral is a dominating design element of the Memorial, a symbol of growth, life, and healing, an ascension from the material world to the "Beyond." Granite monuments are placed throughout the Memorial to recognize all 57,000 who served as well as those who were killed and those still missing in Vietnam.
The most important part of the design is the inscribed names of all our fellow Oregonians who were killed. They are carved in black granite using a letter style designed just for the memorial. This style is named "Hoyt" for the arboretum where the memorial is located. The Hoyt font will be used only here and nowhere else.
The names are inscribed on five walls representing different periods of the war. A sixth wall lists our Missing in Action. Above the names there is a history of events of the war woven into events at home during the same time. In this way, it becomes possible to follow the war's intensity by the number of names on each wall.
As this memorial garden grows and changes during the year and every year, may it remind us again and again of the significance of Life and be a place of reconciliation and healing.