Oregonians come together for Memorial Day service 

Oregon Nation Guard members fold an American flag, a service conducted for See MEMORIAL, page A7
military members who have perished.

Oregon’s service members, both active and retired, legislators, and community members came together, Monday, May 27, to remember and pay homage to fallen service members who gave their life in defense of the nation. 

The ceremony, held at the World War II memorial in Willson Park on the Capitol grounds, and kicked off with a flyover conducted by members of the Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Wing and 173rd Wing units, as well as a showing of the colors from JROTC cadets from North Salem High School. 

Governor Tina Kotek and Brigadier General and the Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard, Alan Gronewold, spoke at the procession providing words of comfort and understanding about those who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

One notable attendee was Vern Staley, a 100-year-old WWII veteran, who served as a medic during the conflict. 

The Memorial Day holiday can be traced back to the conclusion of the Civil War. On May 5, 1868, John A. Logan, as Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued General Order No. 11. 

This order was designated May 30, 1868, for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion. 

Since 1971, Memorial Day has been observed on the last Monday of May, marking a solemn time each year to mourn those who have died while serving in the U.S. military — while reflecting on their ultimate sacrifice to our nation. 

100-year-old veteran Vern Staley speaks to Oregon Governor Tina Kotek during the Memorial Day Service. Staley served as a medic in WWII. 
Photo courtesy of the Oregon Military Department 
A member of the Oregon National Guard playing TAPS, a military song played in order to honor fallen military. Photo courtesy of the Oregon Military Department 

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