“Stonehenge, in Washington?” I asked a co-worker who had just told me about this site. He said that we would be passing by on our drive back from a day assignment in the field. I asked him and my other colleague if they would mind swinging by to check it out. They both agreed; our time at the “home office” is usually a lot of sitting around and waiting for an assignment. All three of us had nothing else to do for the day and the change of scenery would help break up the day to day monotony of winter in the Hood River Gorge. In the winter at the home office, if we aren’t flying, we are usually trying to find something to do.
As we pulled into the parking lot we came to realize that this Stonehenge replica is a World War I memorial to honor the fallen soldiers of Klickitat County, Washington. The memorial is supposed to be a replica of what Stonehenge was believed” to have look like in ancient times, before it was partially dismantled and subject to the wind and elements for several thousand years.
After I took some initial photos, I had a colleague shoot this photo in one of the archways to provide some scale to the structure.
Heading into the inside of the Stonehenge look-alike, I could see the outer ring, inner stones, and then the inner sanctuary.
Even from inside the middle, I could still see the Columbia River. What a choice piece of real estate that this monument sits on – very appropriate to the sacrifice of the men that it honors.
Inside on one of the main stones I found the commemoration plaque that best describes this monument’s purpose:
IN MEMORY OF
THE SOLDIERS AND SAILORS
OF KLICKITAT COUNTY
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN DEFENSE
OF THEIR COUNTRY
THIS MONUMENT IS ERECTED IN THE
HOPE THAT OTHERS INSPIRED BY THE
EXAMPLE OF THEIR VALOR AND THEIR
HEROISM MAY SHARE IN THAT LOVE
OF LIBERTY AND BURN WITH THAT
FIRE OF PATRIOTISM WHICH
DEATH ALONE CAN QUENCH
On nearby stones I found individual markers, one for each fallen soldier of this county.
Nearby the Stonehenge monument, Klickitat County has also erected a Vietnam Veterans Memorial. We did not have time to visit that memorial, but we would have if we could. I thought about the “oddness” of having a Stonehenge replica and then realized that were it not for the novelty of this memorial, we probably wouldn’t have visited. I think that it was a smart idea to make the memorial shaped in the likeness of a world-known monument – in this way, the memory of the soldiers from this area who died in World War I will always be remembered.
Before we departed, I shot a picture down the Columbia River towards the west. Just beyond the horizon lays Hood River and the very popular Hood River Gorge Scenic Area. This area is one of the best wind surfing and kite boarding areas in America. During the summer time, the rents and population triple as everyone heads to the river to enjoy the beautiful scenery and water sports.
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