Mt. Hood Climb Observance Day
“The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.” James Baldwin
Every year, on the second Wednesday in May, the students and faculty of Oregon Episcopal School, as well as staff members, parents, alumni, and friends gather around the Belltower for Mount Hood Climb Observance Day. This tradition began as a way to remember the Mount Hood Climb tragedy that occurred in May of 1986, taking the lives of seven students, the school chaplain, and a dean. This devastating event had a ripple effect not only in our community and Oregon, but also across time, and continues to touch our hearts and guide our decisions.
In 1986, while waiting for news of our climbers, the overwhelming support and prayers of our fellow Oregonians, the mountaineering community, and people around the world sustained us. We experienced the true meaning of community through the compassion and generosity of people who shared in our grief in the face of unimaginable heartbreak. Mount Hood Climb Observance Day began as a day of solemn remembrance to honor those lost, and to continue to serve the community in Portland through a season of giving.
At our gathering, we pause in silence and reflection to name and commemorate each of the precious lives we lost. In their honor, we call our community into a season of service that reflects love and compassion. Our Episcopal identity reminds us that the anniversary of the tragic accident on Mount Hood renews our commitment to work for healing, peace, and justice in the world.
If you have questions or comments about Mount Hood Climb Observance Day, please contact one of our Chaplains.