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Beaverton turns out to honor its best on Memorial Day

Hundreds crowd into Vererans Memorial Park to celebrate


TIMES PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Joel Dulashanti of Beaverton, previously a U.S. Army sniper who lost his leg after being wounded in Afghanistan, spoke in acknowledgement of Beavertons recent designation as a Purple Heart City during the Memorial Day event at Beaverton Veterans Memorial Park on Monday, May 25. The city of Beaverton showed its true colors on Monday, May 25.

And those colors, on display so prominently at Beaverton's Veterans Memorial Park on Monday, were red, white and blue.

Hundreds of Beaverton's citizens came together to celebrate Memorial Day on Monday morning. They came together to celebrate their country's best. They came to celebrate members of the United States' armed forces who lost their lives in service of their country.TIMES PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Members of audience listen to American Legion Post #124 Commander Steve Gerber during the Memorial Day event at Beaverton Veterans Memorial Park on Monday, May 25.

The day featured patriotic music by the American Legion Post #185 band, pageantry (including the presentation of colors by the American Legion Post #124 Honor Guard, placement of a wreath to honor Post #124 Legionnaires who died in the preceding year, and a ceremony to honor POWs and MIAs), prayers led by Chaplain Wally Johnston, and fireworks (those courtesy of a rifle volley by the Sons of the American Revolution and a Howitzer volley by the Oregon National Guard, Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 218th Field Artillery Unit).

And perhaps most important of all, there were heartfelt tributes offered for those greatest of American heroes.TIMES PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Visitors placed flowers near the bricks of family members and friends who died while serving in their armed forces at the Memorial Day event at Beaverton Veterans Memorial Park on Monday, May 25.

Joel Dulashanti of Beaverton, previously a U.S. Army sniper who lost his leg after being wounded in Afghanistan, spoke in acknowledgement of Beaverton's recent designation as a Purple Heart City.

Dulashanti, who along with his wife gave birth to their first child on May 6, recalled that in his own childhood, Memorial Day was all about fireworks and barbecues. Following his service in Afghanistan, however, a term that included his own injury as well as the loss of his best friend in the conflict, Dulashanti told the Memorial Day audience that the holiday now holds a much greater meaning in his life.

The day's keynote speaker, Colonel Leah R. Sundquist, recalled her own family's long history of service, her grandfather a World War II veteran, her father a vet from Vietnam, and her own service in Afghanistan.

This is “a day to celebrate, commemorate and remember,” she said. “Let us dedicate ourselves to never forgetting their sacrifices.

“Let us make every day Memorial Day as we remember those who sacrificed all.”

Also on hand were Patti Waitman-Ingebretsen and her husband Grier Ingebretsen of Southwest Portland. Waitman-Ingebretsen came to honor our nation's best and to twirl her baton alongside the band, while Ingebretsen — a member of the Sons of the American Revolution — came in a uniform modeled after a post-Revolutionary War outfit worn by George Washington.

Ingebretsen served a year in the Navy himself, and their two sons served with the Navy and Marines during Operation Desert Storm in the First Gulf War.

You can see additional photo galleries from Monday's celebration at the Beaverton Valley Times Facebook Page.

TIMES PHOTO: MILES VANCE - The American flag is reflected near the POW MIA marker in the black stone wall during the Memorial Day event at Beaverton Veterans Memorial Park on Monday, May 25.


By Miles Vance
Editor
503-546-0735
email: MVance@CommNewspapers.com
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