Vietnam Memorial in Hoyt Arboretum: Poignant Tribute in Autumn

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Flames of a different kind burned brightly in the Oregon Veterans Vietnam Memorial. This was autumn’s tribute to the 57,000 young Oregonians who fought in a war most didn’t understand or agree with. Yet, they left friends, family and their futures behind to serve their country.

The names of the 800 who died during the war are engraved on curved marble memorial walls. It’s impossible to walk by without stopping to read the names and wonder how different their lives and all of our lives would’ve been had peace prevailed.

This winding memorial’s path leads one around the landscaped bowl that was once a par-3 golf course down into the Garden of Solace. Much care and planning went into the spiral design that represents birth, life, death and rebirth. Portland’s Hoyt Arboretum is the ideal location for this tribute since it annually illustrates this theme. It was particularly poignant on this autumn day with the trees’ leaves aglow, just before they tumble and join the others that have fallen.

If you enjoyed this story in our series, you may also enjoy three other stories about the beauty of autumn in Portland's Forest Park, on a trail in Minneapolis and by a lake in Vermont. We also invite you to check out the books in our series.