August President’s Message

Our chapter activities for August, like the past several months, is virtual only.  We do not anticipate any large group activities till probably the end of the year.  With that being said, there are lots of opportunities for alumni to connect and keep abreast of Academy and Chapter activities.  In July we held a virtual council meeting with one of two new members present and all past presidents.  The new members of the Council are Ron Smith, ’72 and Mark Springer ’89.  We will elect them at the Sept 9th meeting.

We would like to encourage everyone to join our Facebook page.  With the lack of meeting we will be using Facebook more and more to communicate happenings and event.  Currently there are two articles of interest on our Facebook page:

An update on the Commissioning of the USS Oregon SSN 793 which is scheduled to occur in the spring/summer of 2021 as well as a picture of the battle flag for the Oregon.  (anyone interested in purchasing a flag for about $50 contact Lenora Bay at

An update on the events leading up to the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  The president of the Society of Guards of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will be giving a virtual presentation to the Chapter on September 9th at 6PM.

The All Academy Challenge, a fundraising challenge event for all 5 academies runs from August 16th thru the 20th.  Once the challenge kicks off online on 16 August, make your gift on the web page here.

Lastly, we will start having a virtual happy hour weekly for folks to be able to get together and chat on what is going on in their and alumni lives.  These will be set up for each Wednesday at 6pm starting August 19th.  The link to join will be sent out later.

While the current situation we are in (as Ray Kutch calls it a “low budget B horror movie”) is far from optimal, it does offer an opportunity for those not in the immediate Portland area to participate in Chapter activities.  We hope you all will take advantage.

Lastly do not miss the Portland Shoebox Derby held Saturday August 15th noon to 5pm.  My plebe year roommate Mike Jones and I have built two subs for the race. One is for the class of 69 and the other for the USS Oregon SSN 793.  The race will stream live at the following:



Stay safe and sane

Mike Carmichael CDR USN (ret) ’69

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Never Forget Garden and Memorial Day_051920

TUS100 Advocacy Packet_v4_051920

All, thank you again for supporting the Society as we work with the federal government on the national Commemoration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (TUS100).  I wanted to share a few items with you, so that you can let your orginizations know how they can get involved now, and what to look for as we approach 2021.

We encourage everyone to consider making your 2021 annual convention/congress/meeting focused on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and what it means to millions of Americans.

Over the past year, despite COVIDs best attempts, we have continued to formalize bonds between many organizations, and working together we will be able to fulfill the vision of Congress laid out in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017.  A list of everyone who is stepping forward to lead, support, and sponsor can be found on our website:

If we missed your organization please let us know and we will fix it ASAP!

As always you can keep up-to-date by visiting our social media platforms (listed at the bottom).

Never Forget Garden

Since its launch in 2019 the Never Forget Garden has taken off across the US, and the Society has partnered with the American Rose Society to educate and promote this special garden.  The garden marker (see attached photo and article) was introduced a few months ago, and people all across this nation have shared photos of small and large gardens in varying growing climates.  Supporting this within your organization will reap untold stories of service and sacrifice, and bring us all closer.

Information on the Never Forget Garden:

LInk to the garden marker:

As summer starts to close, many across the US and overseas are looking to plan their gardens for next year, and we look forward to seeing the designs, hearing the stories behind the garden, and sharing pictures on the Society Flickr page:

National Salute

The National Salute, re-instituted in 2015, is a means to show our deep respect for our Unknown Soldiers buried in the plaza of the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery and all veterans.   We are asking you to be the leader in your community and create a local and unique National Salute ceremony on the 11th Hour, of the 11th Day, of the 11th Month.

A simple commemoration provides the opportunity to express individually and collectively, your sense of service and national unity; and give thanks for what this country has done for you and your family. This powerful concept and belief are witnessed every day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where, as Congressman Hamilton Fish intended, it is a place to serve as a focal point, where all of America can come together.  Information on what elements are involved with a National Salute program can be found at

As you plan a National Salute in your community, please share the information and photos/video with us at

Arlington National Cemetery Education Program

One of the key elements to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 that authorized the National Commemoration is education, and Arlington National Cemetery has been hard at work developing detailed programs for educators and those that love history.  Here is a short excerpt from their press release:

“Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) is proud to announce its new Education Program (, developed for virtual and in-person learning. Audiences of all ages may now discover the diverse history of the United States through the unique lens of ANC.  Arlington National Cemetery is the resting place of nearly 400,000 individuals, including service members and their families from every American military conflict. With so many fascinating stories to tell, the cemetery is a microcosm of the American experience. Our Education Program offers unique opportunities to engage with the cemetery’s rich history and the experiences of people from the past.”

Please visit their new link and check out the three modules already available for educators, I know you will be impressed.


The Society is still conducting educational presentations for those who request them, and with COVID19 impacting our nation we offer a virtual presentation as well.  These are always free to the public and will tie in a former Tomb Guard in your local area if available to talk about the history of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, each of the Unknown Soldiers buried on the east plaza of the Memorial Amphitheatre, the men and women who stand the eternal vigil, and TUS100.

To request a presentation simply visit our website:

Save the Date:

11 November 2020 – National Salute @ your local city/town/hamlet

24 October 2021 – 100th Anniversary of the selection of the World War I Unknown Soldier @ Chalons-en-Champagne, France

25 October 2021 – Special ceremony to mark the 100th Anniversary of when the World War I Unknown Soldier board the USS Olympia for his final voyage home @ Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia

9 November 2021 – Joint Naval Symposium bringing together historians and veterans to talk about our nation’s naval involvement in the transportation of each of the Unknown Soldiers to our homeland @ the Navy Yard in Washington DC.

9-10 November 2021 – Carnation/Flower Ceremony where the public will be presented an opportunity to pay their individual respects to the Unknown Soldier @ Arlington National Cemetery

11 November 2021 – National Salute @ your local city/town/hamlet

11 November 2021 – 100th Anniversary of the burial of the World War I Unknown Soldier  @ Arlington National Cemetery during the National Veterans Day Observance

Events Under Development

  • Late 2020  – The TUS100 exhibits become open to the public at the visitors center and Memorial Display Room @ Arlington National Cemetery
  • All throughout 2021 – Special tours of the USS Olympia surrounding the history of the ship and the World War I Unknown Soldier @ Independence Seaport Museum
  • March 4, 2021 – Special resolution commemorating the 100th anniversary of Joint Resolution 426 in 1920 to create the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier @ US Capitol
  • Dedication of a Never Forget Garden at the US Capitol
  • Dedication of a Never Forget Garden at the White House Rose Garden
  • All throughout 2021 – Special tours at various American Battle Monument Commission cemeteries focusing on the Unknown Soldiers and their connection
  • Early 2021 – Historical lecture featuring historians from the USS Olympia and the Washington State HIstorical Society
  • May 2021 – Special ceremony commemorating the 63rd anniversary of the selection of the Korean War Unknown Soldier, designation of the Trans-Pacific Candidate for World War II, and the designation of the Vietnam Unknown Soldier @ National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
  • All throughout 2021 – Special tours of the USCGC Ingham in Key West, Florida surrounding the history of the ship and her involvement with the special ceremony at sea in 1958 for the World War II and Korean War Unknown Soldiers
  • Late summer/early fall of 2021 – Release of the official commemoration historical book by historians at Arlington National Cemetery
  • All throughout 2021 – Unique lunchtime lectures at the United States Capitol Historical Society
  • November 2021 – Special lectures by authors of books on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier @ Arlington

Thank you again for supporting this national effort, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me at any time.


SGM (Retired) Gavin McIlvenna

President, Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS)

“Soldiers never die until they are forgotten, Tomb Guards never forget”

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