Eagle Point National Cemetery holds annual Memorial Day ceremony

EAGLE POINT, Ore.– Memorial Day is so much more than a day off from work for everyone at the Eagle Point National Cemetery Monday morning.

It’s an opportunity to remember friends, family and loved ones who served their country.

Director of VA Source Christina Solera said, “honoring those who have fallen in service to our nation is very difficult. Words will never approach the enormity of their sacrifices.”

Every year, the Eagle Point National Cemetery holds a Memorial Day service to honor veterans, especially those who sacrificed their lives in combat.

One of the guest speakers at this year’s ceremony was U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, whose father was a soldier during World War II.

Wyden said, “people back east are always talking about how the country is so divided. Not here at this cemetery. There are no blue flags and red flags or red communities and blue communities.”

To help honor the veterans buried here, students from Scenic Middle School helped place flags at every one of the nearly 27,000 graves.

Senator Wyden said one of the things Oregon does best is recognizing the contributions of our veterans.

He wants to continue to promote Memorial Day events like this one, because the day is so personal to him.

“My dad would say, ‘you know, the people I admired the most were the ones in combat because they made it possible for me to serve in the Army and come home to my new country,'” Wyden said.

Dr. Rodney Pray was one of the many veterans in attendance at the ceremony.

He served in the Marines and the Navy and said Memorial Day always brings up deep feelings for him and his fellow veterans.

Dr. Pray said, “once a year, it’s worthwhile to put the flag out and think about the sacrifices that our men and women have made. It’s pretty deep, it always gets me a little choked up to talk about it.”

Senator Wyden said Oregon always inspires him on Memorial Day, no matter where he is.

He said the Eagle Point National Cemetery in particular, does a fantastic job of bringing the community together to honor veterans.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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