SALEM, Ore. - The Oregon House on Tuesday unanimously passed (56-0) House Bill 3452 to name U.S. Highway 26 through Oregon the "POW/MIA Memorial Highway."
HB 3452's chief sponsors are Reps. Jack Zika, Cheri Helt and Rick Lewis and Sen. Tim Knopp.
"There are around 1,000 Oregonians who served in uniform and remain missing in action, and 770 Oregonians who have served as prisoners of war," Zika said. "These Oregonians, and their families, have sacrificed mightily for our country and our state. The least our grateful state can do is to memorialize these Oregonians by naming Oregon's 471 miles of Highway 26 in their honor."
The Bend Heroes Foundation spearheaded support for HB 3453 and has already raised $100,000 to pay for the creation, installation and maintenance of 79 markers alongside veterans memorial highways. The foundation will fundraise to pay for markers for the POW/MIA Highway in the same manner.
"I want to offer special thanks to LTC Dick Tobiason of the Bend Heroes Foundation," Zika said. "Dick provides unsurpassed leadership on veterans issues in Central Oregon. This bill could not have happened without him and his fellow patriots with the Bend Heroes Foundation."
Zika was elected to his first term in 2018. He serves on the Veterans Services and Emergency Preparedness Committee.
The measure now goes to the Oregon Senate for consideration.