EP National Cemetery honors fallen service men and women with non-public ceremony

EAGLE POINT, Ore. — As the nation remembers the veterans who died fighting for our country today, locally, the Eagle Point National Cemetery made sure to remember the fallen in a unique way.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a non-public ceremony was held this morning and despite the non-public cemetery, people were still allowed to come to the cemetery and pay their respects.

“Today we pay our respects for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” said cemetery director, Wayne Goddard.

The ceremony was a half-hour long.

“The brave men and women interred here at Eagle Point National Cemetery loved their country, our country. Each understood protecting our freedoms and rights, and our fellow citizens.”

There was a laying of the wreath, singing of the national anthem, and a brief World War 2 plane flyover.

The ceremony also included heartfelt speeches, both from cemetery staff and veterans.

Brian Jones came to honor a Korean War veteran, who he says was a father figure to him.

“It’s not just him, it’s for everyone that’s here. For me, whenever I’m here, I can kind of feel him here,” said Jones.

He says Private Thomas Bove was drafted into the war.

He says Bove was reluctant about going since he’d just gotten married one week earlier.

Bove passed away this spring.

“He’s not in pain, and I can see him right now, he’s sitting on the porch up there and he’s got his feet up and he’s playing his harmonica.”

American flags were also placed at every grave in the cemetery.

NBC5 News reporter Mariah Mills is a Medford native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor's Degree in journalism. She also minored in sociology. In school, she covered Oregon athletics for the student-run television station, Duck TV. When she's not reporting, she’s reading, hiking and rooting for her favorite teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Oregon Ducks.
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