Memorial to Nurses Who Served in the Spanish American War

Memorial Honoring Spanish American War Nurses in Portland, Oregon, photo by Jparadisirn 2019

I’ve been running through Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park for years, but this morning I discovered something there I’d never noticed before. It was a war memorial to nurses serving the Spanish American War. The memorial was erected on September 14, 1938.

The small memorial is part of a larger monument to the USS Oregon, a battleship commissioned on March 19, 1898 to serve its country. According to this article in the Oregon Encyclopedia  the USS Oregon (and her crew) made a significant contribution towards the US winning the war. Her captain was a veteran of the Civil War.

At one time, the entire ship docked at Portland’s waterfront, but it was taken back by the US government during WWII and its hull was used for munitions storage in Guam. Eventually, most of the vessel was sold for scrap, and today only its mast remains in Tom McCall’s Waterfront Park.

The above article doesn’t mention the nurses’ memorial, and I’ve not been able to locate more information. Still, it was a pleasant surprise to find nurses serving in a war recognized over eighty years ago.

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