Lake Oswego events honors those who have served our country

by: SUBMITTED - Ben Flaps Berry of the immortal Tuskegee Airmen was greeted by Melody Buenger at the Tribute to Heroes. At the left is a photo of Berry as a young pilot.The celebration of Memorial Day in Lake Oswego got a great warm-up with Tribute to Heroes on May 21.

There were plenty of heroes and the folks who love them on hand at the packed banquet room of the Oswego Lake Country Club. Jerry Ghiglieri, event organizer, made sure there were plenty of special touches for the gala event, like having six cakes decorated with the insignias of all branches of the service represented.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better event,” said Ghiglieri, whose fervent avocation is showing appreciation for America’s fighting men and women.

Representatives serving with the Marines, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Lake Oswego police officers and firefighters were on hand. Veterans of all recent American conflicts were recognized, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Also there were two former Portland Trail Blazers, Jerome Kersey and Michael Harper; Art Sorenson of Lake Oswego, a highly decorated World War II veteran and survivor of the D Day landings on June 6, 1944; and Ben “Flaps” Berry of the famed Tuskegee Airmen.

by: SUBMITTED - Rachel Lindskog of the Joy of Dancing looks joyful as she performs swing dancing for the entertainment of the audience at Tribute to Heroes. “I didn’t know I was famous,” said Berry, to the laughter of the crowd.

There was appreciation all around.

“You’ve got our backs when you serve overseas,” said Lt. Doug Treat of the LOPD. “We’ve got your backs when you come back home.”

Headlining the entertainment was Dennis Marcellino, lead singer of the Tokens, who hit the top of the pop charts 50 years ago with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Marcellino showed he could still reach the high notes on that all-time golden hit, then led some rousing crowd participation on “Tequila,” another classic hit that never grows old. Marcellino also played the saxophone for a swing dancing exhibition.

A raffle for valuable items, including paintings of war scenes, raised money to go for the Wounded Warriors project.

Ghiglieri was honored by the military people present, and she was already to go again.

“I think we set the benchmark high for next year,” Ghiglieri said. by: SUBMITTED - Sgt. Maj. Jerry Glassman, of the 82nd Brigade of the Oregon National Guard, takes center stage while being honored for his heroism at Tribute to Heroes.

This was the second year for Tribute to Heroes. It was sponsored by the Lake Oswego League of Republican Women.

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