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Ceremony remembers those who served in military and on the frontlines of the pandemic

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Gresham held its annual Veterans Day ceremony to honor those who have served in the military and on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the November 1941 issue of the Veterans of Foreign Wars magazine, an editorial was penned about American forces being mobilized to join World War II.

The story spoke about men and women across the country fulfilling an oft repeated pledge to defend the freedoms we all enjoy. The VFW editorial read: "They know our democracy will endure as long as we are prepared to defend it with our lives if necessary."

In Gresham Wednesday morning, Nov. 11, a group of community members and veterans gathered to honor those who have stepped up to take on that task across every generation.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Gresham Veteran Bob Dooms placed a wreath at the pylon honoring naval veterans during a ceremony Nov. 11. "Thank you to my brothers and sisters in arms — today is our day," said David Lowe, commander of Gresham United Post 180 of the VFW.

Gresham's annual Veterans Day gathering may have looked a little different this year, with fewer people attending due to the ongoing pandemic, but for those who did make it to the Heroes Memorial, at the corner of Powell Boulevard and Southeast Roberts Avenue, the celebration remained significant.

"This has been an unusual and stressful year," Lowe said. "I'm honored you have taken time out of your lives to ensure Veterans Day remains special."

Lowe led the proceedings with a speech touching on the history and importance of Veterans Day. He added that a lesson on how to make it through the pandemic can be learned from veterans, as "we have all been taught to adapt, improvise and overcome."

During the ceremony wreaths were hung at pylons honoring each branch of the military — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. There was also a wreath for the Gresham Police and Fire Departments, as well as one for healthcare workers on the frontlines of COVID-19.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Veteran Frank West hangs a wreath in honor of those who served during a Veterans Day ceremony in Gresham Wednesday morning, Nov. 11.


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