April 18, 2017

In 2014, Happy Valley added a stone labyrinth to the park space adjacent to City Hall. A place to reflect and meditate, many community members come to walk the path, releasing stress one step at a time.

The labyrinth was always intended to be a part of something bigger, and in 2016, Mayor DeRemer and City Council discussed the opportunity to build a memorial park dedicated to veterans, with the labyrinth at the center of the sacred space.

The project is quickly gaining momentum. In December, a committee was formed, consisting of volunteers from the Parks Advisory and Public Art committees, local veterans, and city staff members to determine the objectives and elements to include in the project.

While the final design concept is still under review, the committee is clear on the message they want to convey to visitors.

“Our intentions with this project is to honor all past, present and future veterans,” said Chris Randall, Happy Valley’s Director of Public Works.

The future memorial plaza will be a place to honor all veterans. The committee intends for the memorial to be full of meaning, from benches and pedestals for each of the five branches of armed services to the symbolism of the specific plants used to adorn the area. The plans also include building up the vegetation around the labyrinth and containing the area in a way that allows the visitor feel the impact of entering a place of respect.

The committee is dedicated to getting this project exactly right, making the journey to the center of the labyrinth “a walk with veterans” and creating a space that is a place for healing and remembrance.

“Happy Valley wouldn’t be the same without our veterans.  They deserve our complete support. Building a memorial that is thoughtful, intentional, and respectful is a sign of the City’s support of all veteran issues,” said Mayor DeRemer.

Once the design is complete, the group will begin looking at funding options, including grants, donations and business support.

The committee’s next meeting is scheduled for April 20th and is open to the public. For more information about this project, please contact Chris Randall at chrisr@happyvalleyor.gov.