|Want to know what Memorial Day events are being held in your area? There’s a good chance you can find out online, in the directory of Memorial Day ceremonies, parades and other special events that the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs maintains at www.oregondva.com/2017memorialday.
The directory includes an interactive map as well as detailed information about each event. If you don’t see your event listed, it’s not too late to share! Please visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/eventsubmissions and complete the brief questionnaire. Contact the ODVA communications team with any questions at 503-373-2389.
ODVA’s annual Statewide Memorial Day Celebration will take place at 2 p.m., May 29, at the Afghan-Iraqi Freedom Memorial in Salem. The memorial, which is dedicated to the men and women who died while serving in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is located near ODVA’s offices at 700 Summer St. N.E.
The program will include a color guard presentation by Western Oregon University’s Army ROTC cadets, singing of the national anthem, the playing of “Taps” and a reading of the 142 names of the Oregonians killed in Iraq and Aghanistan, which are inscribed on a granite wall at the memorial.
A keynote address will be given by Wendall Pelham, whose son, Army Spc. John Pelham, was killed on Feb. 12, 2014, while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom. At this time, Spc. Pelham was the last Oregonian killed in action in either Iraq or Afghanistan.
In recognition of the 100th anniversary this year of the United States’ entry into World War I, speakers will wear poppies and the poem “In Flanders Field” will be read by retired Air Force Maj. Hank Lutz, a great-grandson of WWI hero and Medal of Honor recipient Edward C. Allworth.