Sen. Wyden highlights Memorial Day ceremonies

Oregon's senior U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden will join other featured speakers at two Memorial Day ceremonies honoring veterans in Central Point and Eagle Point.

The Democrat will speak during a 9 a.m. public ceremony Monday at the Fallen War Heroes Memorial at Don Jones Memorial Park, 223 W. Vilas Road, Central Point. Other speakers will include Army veteran Jim Klug, a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart who was wounded in Vietnam, and state Rep. Dennis Richardson, R-Central Point, who was an Army helicopter pilot in Vietnam.

The Eagle Point High School band will perform during the event. Pastor Mark Burton of the Friends Church will give the invocation. The event is being organized by the VFW Table Rock Post 5726.

Completed last year, the memorial honors every Oregonian who has died in war since statehood.

The annual Memorial Day ceremonies at the Eagle Point National Cemetery begin at 11 a.m. at 2763 Riley Road, Eagle Point.

In addition to Wyden, speakers will include state Rep. Sal Esquivel, R- Medford; Lindee Lenox, director of the Department of Veterans Affairs' memorial program services; Max McIntosh, director of the VA's Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics in White City; and former Navy officer John Howard, a congressional staff member for U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, D-Hood River. The invocation will be by chaplain Wayne Bell of SORCC.

The program also includes music by St. Mary High School students, a color guard, a rifle salute and a jet fly-over. Patriotic music also will be provided by Ralph Seiger, a member of the Old Guard Riders, a group of veterans on motorcycles helping organize the event.

More than 120 U.S. flags donated by the families of veterans will be flown along the Avenue of the Flags. On Thursday, students from Scenic Middle School were busy placing small American flags on the nearly 14,000 grave sites at the cemetery.

In other local Memorial Day events:

  • A Blue Star memorial plaque to honor all veterans will be dedicated at 10:45 a.m. in front of the IOOF Eastwood Cemetery mausoleum at 1581 Siskiyou Blvd., Medford. The dedication is by the Medford Garden Club with assistance from the city of Medford. An open house will be at the cemetery from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday.
  • The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Ashland will hold a Memorial Day Observance at 10:30 a.m. at Mountain View Cemetery, corner of Highway 66 and Normal Avenue, Ashland. Director Ivan Olinghouse will lead members of the Valley of the Rogue Horizon Band and the Southern Oregon Concert Band in a musical tribute, and retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Charles N. Beecham will be the speaker. For more information, call 482-5211 mornings or 482-2562 afternoons and evenings.
  • In Josephine County, the annual ceremony begins at 11 a.m. at Hillcrest Memorial Park, 945 N.E. Hillcrest Drive, Grants Pass. In addition to guest speakers, there will be a parade of flags.

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