PENDLETON - Fire Chief John Fowler told the more than 100 people gathered at Bishop Funeral Chapel Monday he had, for a time, lost the meaning of Memorial Day.
"Like too many others, for me it had become just another day off work, a three-day weekend, and the official beginning of summer," he said. "We're honoring those men and women who fought in wars that weren't always popular. Today, we gather to pay homage to those men and women. They deserve nothing less, and probably much more."
Music for the ceremony was provided by Deena Nelson, Geena Kersman, Dave Skeen and others from Calvary Chapel. The Rev. Rod Skeen, delivered the invocation and benediction.
Nelson and the musicians from Calvary Chapel moved to Olney Cemetery for Post No. 922's ceremony at its Avenue of Flags hosted by Post Commander Roger Rasico.
The guest speaker at Olney Cemetery was Jim Hand, the junior vice chairman of the Oregon Department of the VFW. Hand, a retired police officer from Forest Grove, is a nondenominational minister.
"Today, we should all take time to remember the hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women who have given their lives," he said. "We must realize the luxuries related to freedom are a direct result of our comrades and sisters."
Editor's Note: This story ran Monday in its entirety on the EO's Web site.