The following blog is about an awesome project that we became involved in. I was approached by Sharon McKee owner of In House Graphics about helping out on a project that she helped to spearhead called the TAKING FLIGHT MEMORIAL GARDEN project in West Salem at West Salem High School. Please visit this incredible garden located behind the high school directly off of Titan Dr just south of Brush College St.

The project is a memorial dedicated to West Salem High School kids that have passed on through this life prematurely and specifically 5 students affected by Osteosarcoma a rare bone disease. One family in particular was very close to members of my family and I cannot for the life of me begin to understand the pain and suffering that they had to go through during their time of crisis. Death touches us all at some point in our lives and eventually we all have to deal with our own fate and where we all stand in this grand scheme of life.

When Sharon approached me I was on board from the start and to refresh myself I have been re-visiting articles from the Statesman Journal and the issue of the EPA investigation regarding this devastating type of cancer and its cause locally to us all in West Salem. Currently the EPA has concluded their field testing and will be issuing a report in December.

The memorial is a way for me to personally pay tribute to those unfortunate kids that will not have the chance to experience life as I have. Gail and Gordon Harder have been friends of ours for years and my youngest son Luke went to West Salem High with their daughter Lisa. Luke is now in the Army and is training with the Rangers and will most likely soon be serving our country overseas for causes greater than his single human force. The least I can do is donate my efforts and resources to honor those that have fallen locally here at home.

When we became involved there was a large area to be landscaped with multiple types of plant materials designed with many donated by Carolyn Kolb. The board of directors had some very ambitious plans to implement in a very short time frame. We basically put aside our schedule as needed to come in and supply the labor power to install and finish the project in time for the dedication ceremony and I have donated our landscape maintenance services to continually maintain and keep the memorial looking in tip top shape.

If you should so desire to contribute in any way to the WEST SALEM MEMORY GARDEN please contact myself (503) 585-9517 or Sharon McKee and we will get you more information on how you can help us make this awesome garden a reality. There is still much to do and the committee has more plans for future projects based on the memorial garden.

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