News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters set to mark Memorial Day

Sisters will salute the fallen from America’s wars in a traditional commemoration event at the Village Green on Monday, May 30, at 11 a.m.

The annual event is hosted and presented by Sisters veterans’ organizations — VFW Post 8138 and American Legion Post 86. It will feature the laying of a wreath at the veterans’ memorial at the park, an ROTC honor guard placing the flags, bagpipe music, the playing of “Taps,” and acknowledgment of Sisters veterans who have passed in the last year.

American Legion Commander Lance Trowbridge reports that this year’s keynote speech will be offered by 96-year-old Sylvester Van Oort, who served as a U.S. Army military policeman in Hawaii during World War II.

The hosts will serve up hamburgers after the ceremony, inviting community members to gather together at the barbecue shelter at Village Green.

Memorial Day observances have been an annual tradition in Sisters for more than 20 years. The original ceremonies were held at Camp Polk Cemetery until attendance outgrew capacity and the event was moved to the Village Green.

Memorial Day marks the advent of summer for many people, marked with barbecues, outdoor recreation and family gatherings on a three-day weekend. However, the holiday represents something more grave and solemn, paying tribute to those who have fallen in America’s wars. The tradition of memorial observances for the fallen came out of the tragedy of the American Civil War, where some 620,000 Americans were slain on battlefields or died of wounds and disease over four years of terrible conflict. Such observances were held in springtime in towns across America. In 1868, May 30 was designated by Northern war veterans as Decoration Day.

Over the years, in the wake of World War I and World War II, Korea and Vietnam, observances came to honor the fallen of all wars, not just the Civil War. In 1971, Memorial Day became an official federal holiday, designated for the last Monday in May.


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