Honoring hometown man for service a magical event
To the editor:
Recently, we honored one of our hometown heroes 73 years late. His name is Bill Guttormsen and he is a U.S. Navy veteran of WWII.
He was selected, and along with 31 other Oregon veterans, to make the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. to view the memorial and attend military events back there. He also received a red, white and blue honor quilt, which is a treasure in itself.
The town decided to give him a belated welcome home with a gathering in the local park, with hundreds lining the sidewalks, waving flags and banners upon his arrival.
The frosting on the cake was a motorcycle escort by the Patriot Guard Motorcycle Club for the last 10 miles down a busy highway to our town.
A big, beautiful American flag hung from one of our large ladder fire trucks and a second fire truck blocked traffic for his motorcycle to enter the park. Our local TV station and city officials were on-hand to greet him. The local Thriftway market donated cookies and bottled water for light refreshments.
People from all walks of life came to honor a man who loved his country enough to fight for it so many years ago. Families brought their kids and dogs to share the late, warm summer day with this veteran of a long ago war.
He shook hands and greeted us in the gazebo and was overwhelmed by the attention, he said. It was truly a time for remembering and being thankful for the present.
It made me feel humble to live in such a great town with so many caring people who took an idea and ran with it and made it happen. We are thankful for Bill's Navy service so long ago and sorry it took so long to acknowledge it.