Memorial Day event at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site to honor Vancouver’s military

Retired Army Colonel Larry J. Smith will be the Master of Ceremonies

VANCOUVER — The Community Military Appreciation Committee (CMAC) will present Vancouver’s Memorial Day Observance Mon., May 27, at 11 a.m., at the Bandstand on the Vancouver Barracks Parade Ground. CMAC organizes this annual event with the support of its partners: the City of Vancouver, National Park Service (NPS), Clark County, Waste Connections, and 40 et 8.

The Memorial Day Observance ceremony and the NPS Soldiers’ Bivouac living history cultural demonstration are adjacent to the historic band stand and garrison flagstaff on the historic parade grounds. Resting 80-feet above the parade ground, the garrison flag is raised in honor of significant national events and holidays.

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Superintendent Tracy Fortmann said, “Vancouver Barracks is an incredibility special place and a crucial part of this national park. The post is much more than just a collection of buildings. They are a visible reminder of our shared 19th and 20th century military history. Superintendent Fortmann added, “It is an honor to care for this historic site. Our responsibility goes beyond caring for the buildings and landscapes. We preserve and share our nation’s history, including the service of the many soldiers and their families.”

As a part of the planned event, weather permitting, the impressive garrison flag will be raised. NPS Facility Manager Alex Patterson shared, “I am proud to be a volunteer board member of CMAC, and to help preserve the resources of the historic site. Events like Memorial Day showcase the enduring connection between the military post and this community.”

Retired Army Colonel Larry J. Smith will be the Master of Ceremonies. Speakers at the event will include Superintendent Fortmann, Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle, with a keynote by Clark County Council Member Gary Medvigy. There will be special remarks by Meredith McMackin, a Gold Star mother. Vancouver Police Officer Rey Reynolds will sing the National Anthem. There will be a dove release and color guards, as well as military medleys played by the 204th Army Band.

Complimentary hot dogs and light lunch items will be available to the public, courtesy of the Vancouver Lions, Red Cross Cascades Region, and the Military Officers Association of America.

Larry Smith stated, “The Memorial Day Observance honors those who have given their lives for our country, and the event also provides us with an opportunity to show our respect and support for the men and women of our armed forces.”

C-TRAN busses #25, 32, and 37 will provide transportation directly to the Bandstand that day. Parking is available at Hudson’s Bay High School, where attendees may ride a C-TRAN shuttle to and from the event site.

There will be a National Park Service Soldiers’ Bivouac re-enactment on the Parade Ground after the ceremony until 2 pm. This re-enactment will showcase costumed volunteers portraying many periods in the site’s military history. Additionally, the Vancouver Barracks Military Association will display antique military vehicles.

CMAC is an all-inclusive group composed of members representing youth, education, civic, military, veterans groups, and local governments. CMAC executes and plans community-wide events, such as Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Our Community Salutes, and POW/MIA Day ceremonies, as well as recognition and support of military families of all services.

Learn more about CMAC at


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