May 24, 2011

Memorial Day events

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4108, of Redmond, will distribute red poppies in honor of Memorial Day. Buddy Poppies are replicas of the red poppies from the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” written by Col . John McCrae of the Canadian forces before the U.S. entered World War I.

The VFW have been conducting organized distributions of the poppies since 1923. The poppies are assembled by hospitalized veterans who are paid a nominal amount, then purchased by VFW posts and their auxiliaries, and distributed as gifts on Memorial Day weekend.

The red poppy symbolizes the blood shed by veterans of every war or conflict. The donations received for poppies go to VFW and auxiliaries’ relief funds and aid local veterans and their families in need. The current war and the recession have created significant demand for relief funds.

This year’ s distribution will be at Redmond’s Fred Meyer and Wal mart stores May 27-29, from approximately 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Memorial Day Observances

• 9 a.m. Terrebonne Cemetery, Northeast Smith Rock Way

• 11 a.m. Redmond Memorial Cemetery, 3545 S.W. Canal Blvd.

Redmond’s American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts have a tradition of alternating the organization of remembrance ceremonies at Redmond Memorial Cemetery. This year belongs to the V F W , and Dennis Guthrie of V F W Post 4108 has assembled a packed program for the hour between 11 a.m. and noon.

This year’s program will include high school students, veterans, community members and a politician.

Speakers for the event will be U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, Medal of Honor Recipient Bob Maxwell, and Oregon VFW Senior Vice Commander Bert Key, as well as representatives of the Redmond American Legion and VFW posts.

Redmond High School will be represented by the color guard from the RHS Marine Corps Junior ROTC, and senior Kimberly Hunnicutt will play taps.

A reading of the poem, “In Flanders Field,” a wreath-laying by representatives of about 25 Central Oregon veterans and patriotic organizations, and a special remembrance for those who have died in our most recent war will also be included, Guthrie said.

The program will conclude with the raising of the cemetery flag from half staff to full staff. In accordance with protocol, cemetery flags are to fly at half staff only until noon on Memorial Day, Guthrie said, except at the tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, where the flag always flies at half staff.

Guthrie said he’s trying to make the annual event bigger and better to get more people to attend.

More than 100 chairs will be set out for those who would like to sit, he said.

A smaller observation with a color guard will take place earlier in the day at the Terrebonne cemetery.

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