ROGUE VALLEY, Ore. — Across southern Oregon and Northern California, ceremonies on Monday brought the community together to honor and remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Politicians, local veterans and families all made there way out to various ceremonies in the morning to celebrate Memorial Day and share their stories of those they knew that gave their lives.
“The hardest thing that I find out about it is all my friends have died,” said World War II veteran Henry Dorig. “I’m only one of the few survivors.”
On a day meant to honor all those who have died serving our country, the ones who feel it the most are their brothers and sisters-in-arms. Dorig says it’s hard to be one of the few remaining but this day is a way to honor all those he stood alongside.
“Memorial Day – you think of all these friends that you had that were in the service but were survivors… but have gone,” he said.
From a morning ceremony in Central Point to another in Eagle Point – families, local veterans and political leaders came out to show their respect.
“All they wanted to do was serve in our army, serve in our country,” said U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. “About the most patriotic people you can imagine.”
Wyden along with state representatives Sal Esquivel and Duane Stark made appearances at both ceremonies.
“Such an important place to honor the fallen. What we’re thinking about this morning is those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Wyden.
For Eagle Point resident Karen Poulson, whose father served in World War II, these ceremonies hit home.
“It’s just wonderful to see this and the Eagle Point cemetery does a fantastic job of all the service people,” she said. “I’m just so glad to live in this area and see this.”
As ceremony came to a close, the bells of the cemetery began to chime providing a spontaneous moment of song from the crowd. Something those in attendance won’t soon forget.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.