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Memorial Day ceremonies slated throughout metro area

KATHLEEN T. RHEM - Memorial Day at Arlington National CemeteryMemorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a time to honor and remember those who have died in service to the United States, and honor and thank those who have served and are serving in the armed forces.

The original Decoration Day was proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated 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, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website, in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y., the “birthplace” of Memorial Day.

With the passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971, the holiday is now observed on the last Monday in May.

Following is a list of ceremonies and observances this weekend in the Portland metro area:


May 29 – 11 a.m. – Ceremony at the Veterans Memorial, Willamette National Cemetery, 11800 S.E. Mt. Scott Blvd. hosted by the Korean War Veterans Association, Oregon Chapter of the Chosen Few. Guest Speaker: ODVA Director Cameron Smith.


May 30 – 10 a.m. – Memorial Day program at the Oregon Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 4022 S.W. Canyon Road. "Reading of the Names" of 803 Oregonians who gave their lives in the name of freedom during the Vietnam War. The main program will commence at about 11:10 a.m. with a flyover by the West Coast Ravens. The featured speaker is Lt. Colonel Thuy Tran who, as a child came to the U.S. from Vietnam.

May 30 - 10 a.m. — Memorial Day service at Willamette National Cemetery, 11800 S.E. Mt. Scott Blvd., honors all members of the armed services. Graves of all military personnel buried in the cemetery are decorated with American flags, planted annually by scouts in the Thunderbird District of the Boy Scouts of America Cascade Council.


May 30 — 12:30 p.m. — American Legion Post 124 presents a ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park at Southwest Seventh and Watson streets. Flyover by the West Coast Ravens and the Air National Guard, Honor Guard, speakers, POW/MIA Ceremony, Post #185 Band and Tolling of the Boats Ceremony. Speakers: Brig. Gen. Steven Beach, assistant adjutant general of the Oregon Army National Guard; Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle.

June 9 1 p.m. Rededication ceremony of the oldest Vietnam Veterans Memorial of its kind in the United States. The memorial lists all Oregonians lost in the war as of its dedication date in 1968. Built and displayed at the Beaverton Elks Lodge since the late 1960s, the memorial has been moved to Beaverton Veterans Memorial Park. June 9 will be 48 years from the day of its original dedication by Gov. Tom McCall in 1968. All veterans, especially Vietnam Era, are invited. The ceremony is open to public.


May 30 – 11 a.m. – Ceremony at Zion Memorial Cemetery, Township Road., hosted by American Legion Post 122 includes a guest speaker, reading of local veterans who passed away in the past year, rifle salute. A BBQ chicken lunch held at the Post following the program, 424 N.W. First Ave.


May 30 – 11 a.m. – Columbia City Veterans Park Memorial Day Ceremony. Bagpipers, Color Guard, flag raising Pledge of Allegiance, "Star Spangled Banner," "Taps," placement of wreath. Attendees are asked to park at one of these locations and take a free shuttle: CC Rider Transit Center, 1155 Deer Island Road, St. Helens, or Caples House Museum, 1915 First Street, Columbia City.


May 30 -- 11 a.m. -- Ceremony at Forest View Cemetery, 1161 Pacific Ave. Neil Armstrong Middle School choir, Boy Scouts.

May 30 -- 12:30 p.m. -- Flag-raising ceremony at the Big Flagpole, 19th and Pacific avenues, conducted by Forest Grove Fire & Rescue.



May 30 – 9 a.m. – Graveside tribute to all fallen military members will be conducted by VFW Post 180 at Forest Lawn, 400 S.W. Walters Road. Gresham resident and professional opera singer Nikoli Strommer will sing the National Anthem, “Taps,” flyover by the U.S. Air Force, the First Call Motorcycle Escorts and members of the VFW and retired military.

May 30 —11 a.m. – Tribute to all fallen military, police and firefighters presented by VFW Post 180 at the corner of Northeast Powell Blvd. and Roberts St.


May 30 – 8 a.m. – Washington County's Veterans Organization presents a Memorial Day Salute event at the Hillsboro Stadium. Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart and Women Marines Association with the help of the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Naval Sea Cadets are conducting a Memorial Day Road Rally; Car, Motorcycle & Truck Show, a local school musical tribune to the nation Traditional Memorial Day Ceremony at 1 p.m. Speakers include Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, an American Legion oratory winner and a VFW Voice of Democracy winner. Event admission and parking are free.

May 30 — 11 a.m. – “Oregon Remembers” ceremony will be held at Fir Lawn Cemetery, located at 1070 W. Main St.

May 30 — 2 p.m. — Memorial Day Ceremony at Washington County's Veterans Memorial Gateway, located at the corner of Northeast 34th Avenue and Veterans Drive. Washington County resident Wendall Pelham will serve as the ceremony's host. His son, Spc. John Pelham, was killed in Afghanistan in February 2014. The ceremony will also include special remembrances from the families of Navy Corpsman Ryley Gallinger-Long, killed in action in August 2011, and PFC Andrew Keller, who lost his life in August 2012.


May 30 – 10 a.m. – VFW Post 3973 will hold a ceremony at Adams Cemetery, Adams Cemetery Road.


May 30 – 8 a.m. — American Legion Post 57 and VFW Post 4015 will conduct full military honors services at five local cemeteries: Valley View, Dundee Pioneer, Noble, Gibbs, and Friends.

May 30 — 11 a.m. — At 11 a.m. a ceremony at Memorial Park, Southeast 6th and Blaine, includes the reading the Gettysburg Address, War Memorial roll call, floral presentations by various groups. A community BBQ follows.


May 30 — 10 a.m. — Mountain View Cemetery's Memorial Day Commemorative Service, 500 Hilda St. Guest speaker retired Navy Cmdr. JJ Morell, a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Three Rivers Post #1324, which will help with the laying of the wreaths. After the event, join Post 1324 for an open house from noon to 5 p.m. to see memorabilia tables from WWII to present, visit with veterans and take a tour of the post, 104 Tumwater St.


May 30 — 11 a.m. American Legion Post 158 will hold its annual program at Crescent Grove Cemetery near Washington Square mall at 9925 S.W. Greenburg Road. Flyover by the F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighters, appearances by the Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue firefighter of the year and the Tigard police officer of the year. Speaker: Brig. Gen. Mark A. Crosby, commander of Joint Domestic Operations for the Oregon Air National Guard. There will be a potluck afterward at 12:30 p.m. at the post headquarters, 8635 S.W. Scoffins St.



May 30 — 10:45 a.m. — VFW Auxiliary 3452 will hold its annual ceremony at Winona Cemetery at the intersection of Southwest Tualatin Road and 100th Court. Flyover by the West Coast Ravens and special honors for World War II veteran George Hager — he served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1945, worked as bugle master on his ship and also played at many area events hosted by VFW Auxiliary 3452. Speakers: U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden, state Sen. Richard Devlin of Tualatin and state Rep. Julie Parrish of West Linn. Free community picnic from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.



May 30 — 10 a.m. —The Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) will hold a Memorial Day Observance Ceremony in Town Center Park, 29800 S.W. Park Place. The event will feature the national anthem, presentation of colors, wreath laying ceremony, various speakers, POW/MIA recitation, closing prayer, “Taps” and retiring of the colors.


May 30 – 10:30 a.m. – American Legion Post #46 will host a Memorial Day ceremony at Belle Passi Cemetery. Reading of the names of veterans buried in the cemetery, a musical performance, flag raising by Cub Scout Troop 569 and a rifle salute. Flyover by the Oregon National Guard around 10:40 a.m.

The most current list of statewide community Memorial Day events is available online at www.oregon.gov/odva