The patriotic performance will take place at the St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Sunday

With Memorial Day right around the corner, local residents who want to honor veterans will once again be given that chance this coming Sunday.

The St. Andrews Episcopal Church will present a concert to recognize and pay tribute to the men and women who have served our country in the military. It marks the third time that local resident Sally Burger has coordinated the event.

“A lady in our church suggested we do it,” she said of the first concert two years ago, “and I thought it was a good idea. It took off and I have been doing it ever since.”

The program will feature a host of patriotic musical numbers and military-oriented ceremonies. It kicks off with the Reveille bugle call followed by the presentation of the colors by the Crook County High School NJROTC Color Guard.

Concert-goers will take an active role in the program, first reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and later singing several songs, including "The Star Spangled Banner," "God Bless America," "America the Beautiful," and "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

Burger will join Win Seley for two piano duets during the concert. They will play "Yankee Doodle" early in the program, and then later perform "Stars and Stripes Forever."

During another musical number highlighting the armed forces, the NJROTC Color Guard will present the flags for each of the five branches of the military.

"We are asking the audience to remain seated while the veterans who were in that particular branch of service stand so we can honor them," Burger said.

The program will close with "Taps" performed on trumpet as the Color Guard exits. Then, a bagpiper will play "Amazing Grace."

While the concert is intended to honor military men and women, that is not the only goal of the event. Burger hopes to collect items to help displaced veterans. The performance is free, but donations will be collected.

"We are having what they call a 'seek and serve' if they want to donate articles for homeless veterans such as sleeping bags, blankets, or jackets - even dog food (for veterans with a canine companion)."

Three years in, Burger has tried to keep the bulk of the concert intact, with perhaps a few tweaks here and there. Since its inception, the event has grown each year, and she hopes to see the trend continue.

"Last year, we had about 90," she said of the audience total. "Everybody who has attended has talked about how they really like the concert."

St. Andrews Episcopal Church will host a free veterans concert on Sunday, May 25, at 7 p.m. Donations will be accepted for displaced veterans or Central Oregon Veterans Outreach.

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