By News-Register staff • 

Flags, ceremonies to mark Memorial Day


A variety of ceremonies are planned for Monday, Memorial Day, in order to honor veterans and those who never made it home from military service.

Events include programs at several cemeteries, flag displays in McMinnville and ceremonies at local veterans’ memorials in McMinnville and Grand Ronde.

Memorial Day, the federal holiday that occurs on the last Monday in May, originally was known as Decoration Day — a time to decorate the graves of those who died while serving in the armed forces. It has been celebrated annually since 1868.

To mark the weekend, local musicians will be playing “Taps” at area cemeteries. Trumpeters and members of the Second Winds Community Band will perform the ceremonial bugle call as part of the “Taps Across America” effort to honor veterans.

The schedule includes:

* Evergreen Memorial Park, McMinnville, at noon Saturday and Sunday.

* Dayton IOOF Odd Fellows Cemetery, Thomson Lane, Dayton, 2 p.m. Monday.

* Hopewell Community Cemetery, 21600 S.E. Church Road, south of, Dayton, 3 p.m. Monday.

In addition, flags will be flying over Memorial Day weekend.

Throughout the weekend, the annual flag display in front of Baker Creek Community Church will honor the more than 5,000 Oregonians who’ve died in military service. Teacher Tara Hessel, who previously taught at McMinnville Christian Academy, will lead the private school’s students in putting out the flags.

In addition, local Boy Scouts will place flags on veterans’ graves in Evergreen Memorial Park.

On Memorial Day, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde will host their annual Memorial Day event at 1 p.m. Monday, following a luncheon at noon.

The public ceremony will take place at the Veterans Memorial in Grand Ronde. For more information, call Tribal headquarters, at 503-879-5211.

Also on Monday, American Legion members, Legion Riders and Legion Auxiliary members will take part in a “Ride of Honor” that will hold ceremonies at several sites.

The group will start at Amity Cemetery about 9:15 a.m. After about a 30-minute program, they will move to downtown Dayton, where a veterans memorial sits near Dayton City Hall.

After that, they will travel to the Yamhill-Carlton Pioneer Cemetery just off Highway 47 between the two towns. They will return to McMinnville for a ceremony at the flag display in front of Baker Creek Community Church.

Their final stop will be the American Legion Hall, 126 N.E. Atlantic Avenue in McMinnville.

American Legion Post 21 will host a public ceremony between 1 and 3 p.m. Monday afternoon in honor of Oregonian Garry Bradbury Hodgson.

A radarman second class, Hodgson died when the destroyer USS Frank E. Evans was rammed by another ship on June 3, 1969, in the South China Sea.

He and the other 73 sailors were serving in the Vietnam War. But their names have never been posted on the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C., according to Bob Berwerger of McMinnville, one of Hodgson’s surviving shipmates.

Berwerger and other members of the USS Frank E. Evans Association have been fighting for them to be recognized on the national memorial.

In McMinnville, though, Hodgson is remembered. A memorial honoring Hodgson and his lost shipmates was dedicated at Post 21 in 2017.

In 2019, the state Legislature honored him, as well. In addition, Hodgkin’s name is listed on Oregon’s Vietnam War memorial in Washington Park, near the Portland zoo.


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