Several hundred people gathered Monday morning to remember the men and women of the armed forces who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country.
Families, veterans, civic leaders and a mix of people young and old joined Beaverton American Legion Post 124 in patriotic tributes marking Memorial Day at Beavertons Veterans Memorial Park.
We are here today to show our respect to the men and women who died in service to our country, said Fred Meyer, Post 124 adjutant who opened the ceremony. While some are decorating the graves of their loved ones today, this is a small and sincere tribute to all of our fallen comrades.
It was also a time to celebrate community and shed light on veterans at home and serving in Afghanistan and around the world.
When duty called, they answered, said Lacey Beaty, an Army medic who served in Iraq and the second vice commander of Post 124, in her first public appearance since being voted as Beavertons new city councilor-elect. They chose valor over safety.
During her speech, she issued a call to arms within Beaverton for the community to embrace the family members of servicemen and women who are left behind while their loved ones are called to serve in harms way. She also talked about the need for the community to support veterans when they return home.
We need to be there for them, Beaty said.
For those veterans who are killed or missing in action or who have passed away, Oregon State Legion Commander Mike Morris said their loss will be forever felt.
No one can replace our fallen heroes, and it is our responsibility to make sure their sacrifice will not be forgotten, he said. Freedom isnt free its our fallen heroes who have paid the ultimate price.