Honoring Lake Oswego veterans
Lake Oswego's Memorial Day event will return with a bit of normalcy this year, as community members are once again invited to celebrate and honor active and deceased members of the military.
The Lake Oswego Veterans Memorial is hosting a ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday, May 31, at Foothills Park. The event will include guest speaker Major Grant McGregor — who is still active duty — a flyover by the West Coast Ravens, the Lake Oswego Police Honor Guard and a presentation of wreaths at the wall for fallen loved ones.
"COVID is going to play a major role in it," said Bob Hill, president and chair of Lake Oswego Veterans Memorial, adding that there will be unidirectional flow and the outdoor event will be limited to 100 people who are socially distanced. "Everything else is going to go down as we have in the past."
McGregor — who was commissioned in 2005 — graduated from Whitworth University with a bachelor's degree in international business prior to receiving his master's degree in business and attending the U.S. Army Ranger School, Captain's Career Course, Special Forces Mountaineering, Military Freefall School and Airborne School.
"In his first assignment, he led the support platoon for the 6th Regiment, 9th U.S. Cavalry based in Killeen, Texas and Iraq, where he served before, during and after the 'Surge' and was part of the strategy shift from counter-guerilla to counterinsurgency focused warfare," read McGregor's biography. "Upon returning to Texas, he served as the Executive Officer for the newly established Warrior Transition Unit where he was responsible for ensuring wounded soldiers received the care they needed to return to their units or find careers outside the military."
McGregor also served as a Special Forces officer.
"McGregor commanded two operational detachments, the Pacific Augmentation Team in India and served as the liaison to NATO Special Operations," his biography read. "During this time he led his teams on multiple deployments to the Middle East and Asia executing our National Security Policy."
At the end of the event, there will be a dedication of the new sanctuary garden in memory of John Hanan II, who died last summer after a two-year battle with cancer. Hanan was heavily involved with the Lake Oswego community — particularly with the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Oswego Veterans Memorial.
Construction on the garden began last week and it will be completed by Memorial Day. There will be a 1,200-pound rock in the center of the garden surrounded by plantings, two benches and a plaque in memory of Hanan.
"It's just a place for families to go and reflect," said Hill, adding that it's important to reflect on loved ones who fought for the freedom citizens have today. "This is the time we appreciate what they have done for us."
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