Memorial Day Events Honor Those Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice

Oregon National Guard service member’s participated in several Memorial Day community events around the state today, underscoring the significance of those members of the United States military that paid the ultimate sacrifice to this nation.

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated shortly after the American Civil War, becoming an official federal holiday in 1971. 

Addressing a gathering at the War II Memorial at the Oregon State Capital building in Salem, Brig. Gen. Mark Crosby, Assistant Adjutant General for the Oregon Air National Guard said that, “Memorial Day is set aside to honor the men and women who gave their lives in the defense of the United States.”

“This is a reminder of the true cost of war and a reminder to honor those that died while answering their Nation’s call,” he said, recalling past conflicts in American history from the American Revolution to Afghanistan and Iraq. “Our service member put the welfare of the nation and the welfare of their fellow brothers and sisters before their own.”

Oregon National Guard Funeral Honors Team stands prepared to conduct Memorial Day service at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Medford

Many of those that attended Memorial Day events around Oregon were fellow veterans and family members. At a service held in Beaverton, Brig. Gen. Eric Riley, Assistant Adjutant General for the Oregon Army National GuardRiley said, “For me, Memorial Day’s a sacred and special day.”

“It will forever be the day I remember the nine fallen Soldiers that I served with in the streets of Baghdad. I will always remember the soldiers and officers that I worked with over the last 28 years that never came home.” 

Two Oregon National Guard Funeral Honors Team members conduct a flag folding ceremony as part of a service at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Medford

Here in Medford, Army National Guard Maj. W. Chris Clyne spoke to those gathered at Hillcrest Memorial Park.

“So, on this Memorial Day, never forget. Think about those who have died, those who have returned from war, and all the loved ones who sacrifice daily without them. And then, freely enjoy your day with gratitude.”

F-15 Eagles from the 173rd Fighter Wing conduct a flyover of Hillcrest Memorial Park in Medford

In other locations around the state, Oregon Air National Guard F-15 Eagles flew patriotic flyovers and Army National Guardsmen showcased Howitzer artillery weapons and live firing events.

Courtesy of Oregon Military Department

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