Thousands gather at Willamette National Cemetery to honor fallen service members

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**Embargo: Portland, OR** Those who sacrificed their lives in service to the country were honored at a special ceremony at the Willamette National Cemetery.

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Those who sacrificed their lives in service to the country were honored at a special ceremony at the Willamette National Cemetery.

An attending crowd estimated in the thousands gathered Monday morning as speakers reflected on those who served and lost their lives.

This is the 69th year that the annual ceremony has been held, and includes an honor guard presentation, recognition of each branch of the military and their hymns, presentation of a Gold Star wreath, and a flyover by the Oregon National Guard.

“It’s just a time to be extremely grateful for the freedoms that we have enjoyed through the service of our military over the years – sacrifice of lives and of service,” said Miriam Gibby.

“Memorial Day honors the fallen troops, and there’s a lot here at the Willamette National Cemetery. They’ve got family here that come, still today, to honor the fallen veterans,” said District 1 Commander Cory Brockmann, from the American Legion Department of Oregon.

Another way the fallen have been honored at the cemetery is by the placing of 140,000 American flags that were placed on veterans’ graves by the Boy Scouts of America.

In addition to Monday’s ceremony, Memorial Day was also recognized statewide by an order from Governor Kate Brown to fly all public institutions flags at half-staff.

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