Although the Oregon and Jerusalem Township Memorial Day observance is open to all veterans and the public, an organizer of the event is particularly extending a welcome to veterans who’ve served in the last 20 years.
The observance is scheduled for May 30 at 1 p.m. at the stadium at Clay High School on Seaman Street.
Jerry Eversman hopes the event will especially draw younger veterans and their families.
“I’m told the trend seems to be most of the time veterans tend to be more involved with organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion after their families are raised and they have more time available,” Eversman said. “If the younger veterans wait until that time in their life my fear is there won’t be the support there for those organizations and they could go under. The number of veterans from World War II and Korea is less and less each day.”
He established the website oregonareaveterans.com as a vehicle for veterans “to make themselves known and be recognized” and to communicate with the community and veteran organizations, he said.
The site includes links to area VFW and American Legion posts.
One younger Oregon veteran who has agreed to attend the observance, Eversman said, is Ralph Berry, who was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, for his action in a battle during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Once again, the Memorial Day observance will include what organizers call the remembrance of the fallen. The names of Oregon servicemen who lost their lives in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam will be read as a bell tolls.
Eversman, who has taken a turn reading the names, describes it as one of the most emotional experiences of his life.
Last year, about 300 people attended the observance, which included the unveiling of a memorial to honor those who fought in the Korean War.
Former Oregon Mayor James Haley, a veteran of the war and member of VFW Post 9816, and Ed Placko, commander of the Christ Dunberger American Legion Post 537 and a veteran of the war, unveiled the memorial.
Roseville, O. resident Ronald Rosser, a Medal of Honor recipient in the war, was the keynote speaker.
Eversman said organizations scheduled to participate in this year’s ceremony include Post 9816 and Post 537, American Legion Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 35, Lou Diamond Detachment Marine Corps League, Patriot Guard Riders, and active and reserve members of the branches of the armed forces and National Guard.