HR pays respect to America’s veterans

Ceremony slated for 11 a.m. Monday at Overlook Park

Hood River County residents are invited to pay their respects to America’s veterans by attending a ceremony in their honor on Monday.

“Veteran’s Day is the day that citizens of all ages should set aside to thank and honor all those who have served honorably in the military — in wartime or peacetime,” said Linda Adams, veteran service officer for Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam and Wheeler counties.

Hood River will pay tribute to area veterans at 11 a.m. in Overlook Memorial Park, located at the intersection of Second and State Streets. At 10:30 a.m., John Phillips, a Vietnan-era Navy veteran, takes the wheel for Columbia Area Transit’s free shuttle service to the downtown site from American Legion Post. No. 22, where a breakfast will be served that morning.

Special recognition will be given at the ceremony to members of the Legion and Hood River’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1479 and Post No. 6987 of Parkdale. Several area Boy Scout Troops will also attend.

“For families, this is a great opportunity to allow your children to focus attention on the importance and significance of our veterans,” said Adams. “Hopefully, the observance of this ceremony will contribute to their increased pride and patriotism of our county.”

Keith Doroski, a Gulf War veteran with the U.S. Air Force and former Legion commander, takes on the role of master of ceremonies and opens the program with the Pledge of Allegiance.

The 142nd Fighter Interceptor group from the Oregon Air National Guard will execute a low-level flyover and Eagle Scout Matthew Kirby from Boy Scout Troop 378 sings the National Anthem. The 13-year-old previously performed The Star Spangled Banner in front of a 15,000 member audience at a “Scout-Rageous” event.

The invocation for the ceremony will be given by Pastor Michael Harrington of Mt. View Baptist Church. Harrington has led the Hood River church for the past seven years and joins missionaries in the Philippines every two years to distribute medicine and clothes to the needy. For the past four years he has also held the position of chef for the Hood River Valley Adult Center.

News government reporter RaeLynn Gill next takes the podium as keynote speaker to share her experiences as a “Marine Mom.” Her remarks will address the patriotic spirit which created America and the personal sacrifices incurred by military men and women to protect and preserve that rich heritage.

Following Gill’s remarks, a rifle salute will be given by members of the Oregon National Guard based in Hood River. These individuals include Staff Sergeant Robert Shartel, Sergeant Michael Frizzeli, Corporal Jack Smith and Specialist Joshua Bielemeier.

The ceremony will close with Taps played by William Thompson, an Army veteran from the Korea war era who performed for troops during his military tour of duty.

On June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 was established to honor American veterans of all wars for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

“It is my earnest hope that all veterans, their organizations and the entire citizenry will join hands to insure proper and widespread observance of this day,” wrote President Dwight E. Eisenhower in a letter to the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs after signing the first official Veteran’s Day proclamation on Oct. 8 of that same year.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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