Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Raising the flags


West Linn resident creates patriotic walking tour in Skyline Ridge area

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - This year's patriotic walking tour included 40 stops, each adorned with the American flag.It began three years ago on Memorial Day as a way to honor and remember fallen soldiers.

Keith Morris, a resident of the Skyline Ridge neighborhood, decided to post photos and short biographical information of deceased soldiers on lamp posts throughout the area.

He did it the night before Memorial Day, so neighbors would wake up to a surprise outside.

It was a success, and Morris was pleased with how the makeshift exhibit seemed to bring people together during the holiday.

He and a group of volunteers did something similar for the Fourth of July that year, and the concept continued to grow in scope until the 2013 iteration: a 40-stop patriotic walking tour detailing a number of American historical events from 1774 to 1783.

“This year,” Morris said, “we thought we would put this up for people to go out, interact with each other and learn a little history along the way.”

With the help of four other families, Morris put the posters up on the night of July 3, and they remained on display for three days afterward. All told, he said, the tour stretched for about a mile and a quarter.

The group also put up a total of 50 American flags on lamp posts throughout the neighborhood.

“The best part — the reason we did it — was it got a lot of neighborhood kids and families to help,” Morris said. “It gets kids involved with something they’ll remember and is kind of meaningful. Light community service, I call it.”

Each stop on the tour carried details about major battles and document signings during the country’s nascent period.

“The biggest thing, smack dab in the middle, was the Declaration of Independence,” Morris said. “That took up four stops.”

If the Fourth of July is, in many cases, an excuse to light fireworks and grill hot dogs, Morris wanted to help remind the community about why the holiday exists in the first place.

“You want to get people to interact,” he said, “and take a minute to think about what’s going on during that holiday.”

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Each stop had information about important battles or document signings during the country's early years.