NEWS RELEASE: Morrison Bridge will be lit white starting Tuesday, Oct. 17, as a call for peace and to recognize civilian victims in Hamas/Israel conflict

October 14, 2023

Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson has directed the Morrison Bridge to be lit white for five days in a call for peace in the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel. The lighting will start this Tuesday, Oct. 17, and last through Saturday, Oct. 21.

The bridge lighting is in acknowledgment of the civilians impacted by the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip, Israel and the surrounding region. The Chair’s directive also serves as a call for every possible effort to be made to protect civilian lives, with recognition of the long and complicated history that predates the events of Oct. 7. 

On Thursday, Chair Vega Pederson directed the bridge to be lit in blue and white for five nights, the colors of the Israeli flag, as a reflection of the pain and loss suffered by the Israeli people in the wake of Hamas’ terrorist attack on civilians on Oct. 7, the worst terrorist attack against Jewish non-combatants since the Holocaust.

Friday morning, as the conflict continued to escalate, the Chair asked her staff and the Department of Community Services to continue working to find a way to honor all victims of the war. She recognizes the complexity of this situation and its impacts on the Multnomah County community and is working to acknowledge the local community-members who’ve reached out to her, including County staff.

Bridge staff on Friday then began adjusting the planned schedule of lighting remembrances.

The following is a statement from Chair Vega Pederson:

In recent days, we have seen tremendous harm and suffering inflicted on the Palestinian population in Gaza by the Israel Defense Forces, including the terrifying call to remove more than one million people from northern Gaza with only 24-hours notice. 

I unequivocally condemn the indiscriminate use of munitions without regard for civilian casualties. Collective punishment against populations for the actions of a terrorist organization violates international law and the democratic values we cherish in Multnomah County and the United States. 

On Thursday I directed that the Morrison Bridge be lit in the colors of the Israeli flag for five days to honor those lost and injured in the horrific terrorist attacks against people in Israel on Oct. 7. Beginning Tuesday evening, the bridge will be lit white for five days representing our collective call for peace in the war between Hamas and Israel and an equitable and lasting solution to the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict.