VIETNAM VETERANS OF OREGON
DOUG MACY / DREAM TEAM
(by Jud Blakely)
Doug Macy was truly the unexpected right man in the right place at the right time, the exact definition of a "godsend." But for the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial Fund (VVOMF), Doug was not unique. He wasn't the only (or first) or even the last godsend.
Look at the history of the VVOMF. You're going to need five hands (and every finger) to add up all the "right place and right time" folks who just "showed up" to turn the Memorial from the bright shimmer of a far-off dream into a great poignant fact on the ground.
Here's a short list of "Dream-Team" members whose contributions of time and effort were key: Mary Lou White / Shirley and Bob Korsmeyer / Birdena and Birdena Jo Brownell / Jim Crawford / Foster Thayer / Pat O'Brien / Scott Benge / AGC staff / Mike Lindberg and staff / Matthew Prophet & PSD / Oran Robertson / Fred Meyer Charitable Trust / Jack Wilmeth. Download the booklet for a complete list.
Not unique in his role as VVOMF godsend, Doug Macy was unique in the nature and extent of his profound gifts as a landscape architect. It would be his "impossible" role to create a nuts-and-bolts version of this glowing (but intangible and emotional) specter into a working plan with achievable goals and steps.
So, a long story short: the concept of this "living memorial" came from the Portland landscape architecture firm of Walker/Macy back in 1984 but most of the inspiration for the concept came from Doug Macy, a co-principal. It was his vision and belief and voluntary acts of selling the concept that gradually won the necessary support.
Doug had earned the trust of decision-makers from close contact with them during the Pioneer Courthouse Square project, a widely-hailed effort of Walker/Macy that served to solidify Doug's growing reputation and broadly elevated the firm's stature and appeal.
But despite the influx of new clients that the gaudy success of Pioneer Courthouse Square pulled in, Doug somehow still made time (that he really didn't have) to keep meeting with the core group of Vietnam vets and others who were "locked in" to the memorial issue.
The vets had formed by then a 501(c)(3) called the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial Fund (VVOMF). Their stated mission was to design and raise a fitting memorial to honor all 57,000 Oregonians who served plus ensure a hospitable venue of general healing for the public, two aims that struck many as inherently in conflict.
At Madras HS, Doug suffered an injury that ended his sports career and made him unfit for military service. But having lost friends to the war, he was strongly drawn to help the VVOMF secure a site for a memorial that would honor Oregonians who fell in combat but also embrace all who might seek relief from their own war-related pain.
The five vets who put in the most time and most effort from Concept to Dedication were known and revered as "THE FIVE."
Clockwise from top-left are Mike Goldade / Carlos Ricketson / Dennis Kinzer / Ben Stanley. In the middle is Jerry Pero with daughter Kari. Fran Rauschkolb, by Jerry, and husband Frank made of their Beaverton home a rally point and all-purpose hub from 1982-87.
Aside from the core Founders, it took four other key participants to turn the Living Memorial from a dream into a long-awaited fact.
Clockwise from top-left are Doug Macy, Architect / Doug Bomarito, VVOMF President / Clayton Hering, our fund-raiser extraordinaire / Tim Gallagher, key liaison with local authorities. It took their grinding yet nimble work (THE FOUR) in tandem with THE FIVE to gain the traction that pushed, pulled, and elevated the project into being.
As so many vets, next of kin, friends, and others said then (and over the raw, tumultuous years since then) about the Living Memorial...
..."Thank you, Doug Macy, for your service and for the grace, beauty, and power of your gifts that you have chosen to share with us."
12 August 1945 - 10 November 2017