by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Members of the West Coast Ravens Team with RV-8 special aircraft perform a missing pilot flyover to open Beaverton American Legion Post 124's annual Memorial Day Program in Beaverton Veterans Memorial Park.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 Beaverton’s 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 Beaverton’s 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 harm’s 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 isn’t free — it’s our fallen heroes who have paid the ultimate price.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Christine Murray, a member of the Beaverton American Legion Post 124's Honor Guard, places yellow roses on a memorial wreath in recognition of local veterans who recently TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Curtis Tigard, 105, acknowledges the crowd after being recognized as Washington County's oldest living World War II veteran. Oregon American Legion Commander Mike Morris welcomed the former Army officer as a member of the Legion. during Beaverton Post 124's annual Memorial Day TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - U.S. Air Force veterans stand as the Post 185 American Legion Band play the 'Wild Blue Yonder' anthem of their military TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Members of The Sons of the American Revolution Musket Team fire rifle volleys near the end of the Memorial Day Program at Beaverton Veterans Memorial TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Members of Governor's Own Bravo Battery 2-218th Field Artillery fire volleys from a Howitzer near the end of the Memorial Day Program at Beaverton Veterans Memorial Park. The blank rounds contained 1.7 pounds of black powder giving off three loud bangs and a lot of smoke.

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