This is the 70th anniversary of the Albany Veterans Day Parade. This year, because of Covid-19 concerns, the parade will take on a different form. Instead of the usual route, veterans and floats will be hosted by sponsors at sites around the city. Participants will use a map — either a hard copy or online version — to find the various locations. Maps are available on the Albany Visitors Association phone app, Albany Explorer, in hard copy at the AVA office, 110 3rd Ave. S.E. (the office is open Veterans Day 9 am – 5 pm) and you can download a map Here.
Download the free Albany Explorer App for an easy-to-follow digital map of the route, quick link to the voting platform and a special invitation from Albany’s Mayor.
* for Apple iOs iPhone or iPad Click Here.
* for Android OS at Google Play for Android Click Here.
To add to the fun, special objects will be placed at some of the stops. Find them all and be entered in a raffle for prizes! Participants can also vote for their favorite float, either in person using their ballot on the printed map and turning it in at the YMCA or vote online Here.
This year’s theme is, “Every day is Veterans Day,” which is a quote from Jim Willis, who spent many hours helping veterans, including a stint as director of the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs and was a major player in the creation of the Edward C. Allworth Veterans Home in Lebanon. Willis, A U.S. Air Force veteran, died this past June at the age of 78.
A hard-working volunteer committee came together this year to make sure the parade continued to honor veterans and are already making plans to bring the full-scale traditional parade back November 11, 2022. It will take many volunteers and coordination efforts will begin immediately following this year’s parade. If you are interested in getting involved to help coordinate, sponsor or create a float/parade entry for next year, please contact McCall Washburn at email@example.com
The City of Albany created an exciting “story map” from the 2019 event that we think you might enjoy. Just click on this link to view the video.
- Memorial Service: 11 a.m. to noon at Timber-Linn Memorial Park. Plans for the service this year include firing three 105mm Howitzer artillery guns as an honorary salute.
- The Wall of Honor: A Tribute to Those We Lost in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be on display 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 8-12 (it may be taken down before 5 p.m. on Nov.12) at Albany City Hall, 333 Broadalbin St. SW. The wall is sponsored by Vets Helping Vets HQ. For more information, call 541-791-4357.
- Flyover: The 142nd Wing, stationed at the Portland Air National Guard Base, will conduct flyovers for Veterans Day ceremonies in Estacada, The Dalles, Albany and Tillamook. The flyover time in Albany is scheduled for 11:40 a.m.
- Uniforms on Display: Pay your respects to the women and men who have fought for our country by visiting Downtown businesses where military uniforms will be on display from Nov. 9-16, which will include 15 to 20 uniforms from various branches of the military and different campaigns.
- Banner Project: The Rotary Clubs of Albany (Albany and Greater Albany) again joined forces to sponsor the Albany Heroes Banner Project, hanging several of them on poles throughout downtown Albany. This is the second year of the project. The 2-by-4-foot banners carry the service person’s image, name and branch of service. For further information or inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org. Go here for a story about the project.
- Display of Flags: Boy Scouts from troops in Albany will be placing flags along streets in Downtown Albany again this year, with Troop 100, Troop 322 and Troop 205 handling the task. Flags are displayed on 10 holidays throughout the year: Martin Luther King Jr Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Patriot Day (9/11), Election Day, Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor Day. The Scouts install the downtown flags on non-school days (weekends, holidays and during the summer). Community volunteers help display the flags on school days, typically Patriot Day, Election Day and Pearl Harbor Day.
- Veterans Memorial Motorcycle Ride: The ride will start on Blue Ox Road by Timber-Linn Memorial Park directly following the memorial service. The ride will make a stop at the Mid-Willamette Valley YMCA, 3201 Pacific Blvd SW, to recognize dignitaries there before finishing at the Edward C. Allworth Veterans Home in Lebanon, 600 N 5th St.
The Albany Veteran’s Memorial Humble Origins
After several long years of work by the former Albany Jaycees and construction provided by numerous volunteer builders, the Linn War Memorial was finally dedicated at Timber Linn Memorial Park on May, 30, 1969.
For nearly 40 years following the dedication, the memorial did not change much. Albany Parks & Recreation Department helped to maintain the memorial with regular landscape and gardening services. After a newspaper article about the memorial was published in the Albany Democrat Herald, a local Navy veteran, Garner Pool, visited the site and discovered that his brother’s name, Sylvan B. Pool, was missing. Research to locate his missing records helped unearth other names that should have been included in the original construction.
During the expansion planning, it became apparent the memorial not only needed to include veterans who had inadvertently been missed from the Vietnam War, but to honor veterans from all wars fought in the 20th century.
Pool was instrumental in forming the Linn County Veterans Memorial Association. He went to the City of Albany and the Parks & Recreation Director, Ed Hodney, for help with the expansion proposal. Loans and grants were needed to start work, and many in the community stepped forward to help fundraise.
Included were in-kind contributions of materials and labor, including an anonymous donor who offered to lend the group the $21,000 necessary to begin the work.
The expansion included the opportunity to purchase engraved “sentry bricks” at $50 per brick. The bricks would contain the name of any veteran who served honorably, from any part of the state and the US.
The memorial was designed so that the original walls with the bronze plaques (for the Linn County Vietnam War veterans) faced outwards, while the inscribed sentry bricks faced inwards towards the plaques—a symbolic gesture of support.
Randy Martinak of the LCVMA was responsible for moving the large Howitzer located in an awkward part of the park. He worked with his cousin (who just happened to be an engineer) to safely relocate the cannon. This was no small feat, as the large gun weighed 36,000 pounds!
With all of the moving parts (and cannon) in place, the refurbished and enlarged memorial was ready to receive visitors and hold gatherings.
The Next Expansion
The time has now arrived when the memorial needs to be expanded once more to accommodate requests from veterans’ families. The Linn County Veterans Memorial Association hopes their state heritage grant application and the sale of new bricks will help fund this current expansion project.
There are about three or four stages in the planning process and the association hopes to break ground in 2020 and complete the expansion by Veterans Day 2020.
What to know if you go
For visitors: The Linn County Veterans Memorial is located in Timber Linn Memorial Park at 900 Price Rd SE, Albany, Oregon. Besides the veterans memorial, the park encompasses 100 acres with family amenities including basketball courts, disc golf, fishing, lake access, horseshoes, playground and picnic areas with BBQ facilities and tables, restrooms, and day-use shelters.
A memorial service is held each year on Veterans Day, normally the same day as the Albany Veterans Day Parade. The parade is the largest veterans day event west of the Mississippi River. Click this link for more information on the 2021 parade which will be updated as information becomes available. You will also find current information about the memorial service at Timber Linn and a memorial breakfast on our monthly events calendar.
School Field Trips: Educational school tours may be set up through the Linn County Veterans Memorial Association by sending requests to LCVMA, P.O. Box 2739, Albany, OR, 97322.
Sentry Brick application
Bricks: For those interested in requesting an engraved brick to honor their loved one who has served in the US Armed Forces, send copies of the service member’s DD Form 214, the application form below, and payment ($50 per brick) to LCVMA, P.O. Box 2739, Albany, OR, 97322. *Please note that this all-volunteer group only has the capacity to install approximately 65 bricks per year.
Finding the names of veterans on bricks
Brick location at the memorial: To access a list of the veteran names at the park, view the PDF document below.