BLY, Ore. – While it has been a year since the 75th anniversary of the tragedy at Mitchell Monument, the Bly Community Action Team, Standing Stone Church of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, and the Fremont-Winema National Forest have continued to work on a remembrance.
Mitchell Monument, located east of Bly, marks the site where Reverend Archie Mitchell’s pregnant wife, Elsie, and five local Sunday school students were killed by a Japanese balloon bomb, also known as a fugo, on May 5, 1945. They were the only World War II casualties as a result of enemy action on the continental United States.
There was an event when Weyerhaeuser dedicated the monument in 1950, and again at the 50th anniversary on May 5, 1995. The event originally scheduled for May 5, 2020 at Mitchell Monument for the 75th anniversary was postponed and ultimately canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the event planning committee still feels it’s important to have something to mark the anniversary. A commemorative program was designed and is being printed for distribution. The segments originally planned for the event were recorded, compiled and will be available as a DVD.
The committee plans to mail the items out to be received by the upcoming 76th anniversary on May 5. The video will be uploaded and available online by May 5.
To request the Mitchell Monument 75th Remembrance package, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and include the name, mailing address and phone number for the recipient. If additional copies are requested, please include the numbers of programs or DVDs requested.
Requests can also be made by calling the Fremont-Winema National Forest at 541-947-2151.
Additionally, the Standing Stone Church of the Christian and Missionary Alliance will be hosting a remembrance event in partnership with the Bly Community Action Team. he event will be Saturday, May 8 starting at 1 p.m. at the church, 61125 Hwy 140 East in Bly.
The event is free and will include a catered barbecue, viewing of the event video and honoring the victims. More information will be available closer to the event date.