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Memorial Day remembers fallen vets

Two events take to heart sacrifice made by soldiers
by: NANCY TOWNSLEY, The color guard procession is a feature of the Memorial Day ceremony at Forest View Cemetery held each year in Forest Grove.

Those who attended a pair of Memorial Day ceremonies in Forest Grove on Monday were momentarily transported to another small hamlet, Grover's Corners, made famous in Thorton Wilder's 1938 play, 'Our Town.'

Forest Grove Mayor Pete Truax, a former English teacher, spoke briefly at a morning gathering at Forest View Cemetery and, shortly after, at the flag-raising ceremony on the east side of town. On each occasion, he read an excerpt from Wilder's final act, in which a New Hampshire stage manager describes the town cemetery:

'Over there are some Civil War veterans. Iron flags on their graves, New Hampshire boys had a notion that the Union ought to be kept together, though they'd never seen more than fifty miles of it themselves. All they knew was the name, friends - the United States of America. The United States of America. And they went and died for it.'

Speakking at the flag-raising ceremony, Truax said the star-spangled banner means different things to different people.

'To some,' he said, 'it is a beacon of hope and honor. To others it is a sign of a debt still to be paid, of freedom, respect and equality still to be granted. But even in that sense of disappointment, there is the sense that the flag is part of what is right about this country.

'But on this day,' the mayor continued, 'it serves to remind us of those who made the ultimate sacrifice, paid the ultimate price. Take time to remember them today. And remember those who still serve, on that distant outpost far from family, far from home.'