A sign honoring Corporal Jimmy Erik Floren, a Klamath Falls man who died in the Vietnam War, will stand over the Southside Bypass east of Summers Lane, declaring it a Fallen Hero Memorial Highway in Floren’s name.
The sign was unveiled and dedicated Saturday afternoon in a ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park that honored Floren’s sacrifice and his family. Oregon State Sen. Dennis Linthicum, R-Klamath Falls, and Rep. E. Werner Reschke, R-Klamath Falls, spoke about Floren’s heroism and presented the House and Senate bills that declared the memorial in Floren’s name, one given to Floren’s family and the other given to the Marine Corps League.
Klamath County Commissioner Derrick DeGroot and Marine Corp League Commandant Spencer Marin also spoke during the event honoring Floren, along with a representative of U.S. Congressman Greg Walden’s office reading a letter from Walden. One of Floren’s comrades, LCpl Dan O’Conner, USMC Retired, recalled the story of the night of Floren’s death, played from an audio recording.
Floren died in November of 1967, in combat defending his wounded comrades from gunfire. Floren was awarded a Purple Heart, Silver Star, and the Navy Cross after his death, the military’s second-highest honor.
According to Marine Corps League Chaplain Benjamin Quen, the memorial road sign will sit about a quarter of a mile from the Floren family home.