Although they are aging and some were not able to attend the ceremony, a group of veterans at Avamere at Hillsboro, an assisted living facility, showed their pride as they sat attentively and listened to speakers praise the sacrifices they made for the rest of us.

“Thank you for your service,” said Lesa Weislogel, life enrichment director for Avamere’s Southeast 30th Avenue location. “I can’t tell you how much it means that you fought for us.”by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: DOUG BURKHARDT - Members of Hillsboro-based Boy Scout Troop 240 pass out certificates to a group of veterans gathered at Avamere of Hillsboro during a Veterans Day ceremony. About 15 veterans who live at Avamere were honored during the event.

About 60 people attended the event Monday afternoon, which began with Eldena Vanderzanden of the David Hill Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) reading “In Flanders Fields,” a famous, haunting poem written by John McCrae in 1915, during the height of World War I. Members of Boy Scout Troop 240 in Hillsboro also were on hand to participate in honoring the assembled veterans, all of whom were residents of Avamere.

The veterans said they appreciated the recognition.

“It felt great,” said Army veteran Jerry Carr. “I appreciate everything they’ve done, with the Boy Scouts here and the colors. What Avamere has done is fantastic, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Carr said he served in the Army for 26 years. He started out in the National Guard, but was called to active duty in 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War.

“I figured if I could get into the intelligence field, I’d stay in the military,” he said.

Carr retired in 1988, and Carr and his wife, Bobbie, have lived in the Hillsboro area since he got out of the Army.

“We’ve been married for 52 years, and moved 42 times,” said Bobbie, who added that she and her husband now are active volunteers at St. Vincent de Paul.

“We see so much need for the food bank,” Bobbie said. “Being able to volunteer there is a blessing.”

Boy Scout Zach Dahlen said both of his grandparents served in the military, so he was proud to participate in the Veterans Day ceremony honoring Avamere’s veterans.

“One grandfather was in the Marines and one was in the Air Force,” said Dahlen. “And my brother is in the Army, so it’s more personal to me.”by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: DOUG BURKHARDT - Eldena Vanderzanden, a member of Daughters of the American Revolution, reads the famous World War I-era poem, In Flanders Fields, at the start of Mondays ceremony honoring veterans at Avamere of Hillsboro.

DAR members passed out commemorative pins to each veteran in attendance, while Avamere gave each veteran a certificate honoring them for their service to the nation.

“In recognition of your service ... with grateful appreciation for courageously protecting our freedom, democracy and independence,” read the text of the certificate, which included the veteran’s name and branch of service.

“This is a yearly tradition,” said Wendy Wood, director of community relations for Avamere. “We’ve been doing this for seven years now. The Boy Scouts have been here all these years, and the Daughters of the American Revolution are new this year.”

Wood said the residents who are veterans appreciate the attention.

“They feel really honored to have us recognize them on this day, and we want to recognize them,” she said.

The DAR members had a busy Veterans Day. Before attending the ceremony at Avamere, they visited with veterans at two other area retirement centers: Cornell Estates in Hillsboro and Jennings-McCall in Forest Grove.

“David Hill Chapter is very pleased to honor our local servicemen and women on this day. It is one of our chapter’s most popular activities, and we are thankful for the opportunity to express our gratitude for their sacrifices,” said DAR Regent Millie O’Connor.

Daughters of the American Revolution is a volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and education. Its membership is comprised of women who are lineal descendants of America’s first veterans who served in the Revolutionary War.

The DAR’s David Hill Chapter, which is based in Hillsboro, will be 80 years old next year.

Weislogel said she felt honored to be able to express gratitude to veterans who have sacrificed so much.

“We love to honor such heroic people in our community,” she said.

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