War and remembrance

Polk County honors veterans who gave that last measure of devotion


Veteran Don Malarkey remembers his years in the armed forces.

INDEPENDENCE -- A restored World War II B-25 will lead a formation of vintage aircraft over the Independence State Airport Monday, May 27.

They will be honoring absent friends.

The event is part of traditional Memorial Day services at the airport that honor aviators, both military and civilian, who have lost their lives.

The event starts at 11:45 a.m.

Members of AMVETS Post 1776 of Independence will start the ceremonies by lowering a ceremonial flag.

The B-52 will be escorted by a P-51 Mustang and a Navy PBM Avenger. Other fly overs will feature T-34 military trainers as well as WWI Nieuport 11 replica fighters.

Oregon National Guard F-15 fighter jets are also scheduled to fly over.

"It is an honor for our pilots to participate as a memorial to our deceased military and civilian pilots and crews," said Bruce Lamont, president of the Oregon Warbirds Chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association of Eugene.

Speakers include former State Sen. Cliff Trow and military historian John Bruning.

Bruning said Memorial Day is always special for him.

"It is a day when we come to terms with the grief spawned from war, while at the same time, reaffirming our convictions of peace and reconciliation."

There will be aircraft exhibits and other related activities.

A hamburger barbecue is scheduled at 1 p.m. Donations are $5 for adults and $3 for children.

More information is available by calling Andy Andersen at 503-838-4231.

Other Memorial Day events around Polk County include:


At least 33 flags will be blowing in the breeze at Hilltop Cemetery in Independence Memorial Day.

The American flags at the cemetery will be displayed along with the black POW/MIA flag.

The American Legion places small American flags at each veteran's grave site.

More information is available by calling Jim Williams of American Legion Post 1776 of Independence at 503-838-3477.


The annual Memorial Day tradition is held at 11 a.m. at the Dallas City Cemetery, south of Dallas on Highway 223.

This year's special guest will be Douglas Dusenbery with the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs in Salem.

The program started with 68 flags and has grown to 340. Each flag symbolizing a deceased veteran.

The black POW/MIA flag honors prisoners of war and those missing in action.

The event is sponsored by the Carl B. Fenton American Legion Post No. 20 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 3203.

More information is available by calling 503-623-4824.


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