One of the many veterans honored this Memorial Day is Major Charles J. Loring, Jr. His heroism is memorialized at the Loring Memorial Park at the juncture of North Street and the Eastern Promenade in a park that was dedicated in 2000.
Major Loring enlisted in the service in 1942. He served in World War II as an Air Force pilot. He was shot down and spent time in a prison camp. Loring served once again in the Korean conflict. During a bombing mission over North Korea, he sacrified his life rather than be a prisoner of war once again. He died on November 22, 1952. Major Loring was awarded the Medal of Honor “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk to his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy.”
Major Loring left behind his wife and two young daughters.
The Loring Memorial Park is cared for by three generations of the family, led by his brother, Paul. Harold Loring, father of the two, served on the Portland City Council for 12 years and was twice Mayor of Portland.