Memorial Day: Service honors soldiers

POW/MIA Remembrance will be the theme for Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony in Hood River.

Conducting the “Table for One” ritual will be a highlight of the annual observance.

“This is the first time most people will have ever seen this ceremony,” said Dennis Leonard of American Legion. “Table for One” is a long-standing tradition at Legion gatherings, where a symbolic place setting is laid at the dinner table to commemorate those lost in action.

“We’ll do it a little differently, and (separately) put every item on the table, while Huskey narrates,” Leonard said. The slow placement of those everyday items will serve as a ritual and time of contemplation.

“It’s a very simple, dignified ceremony to remember the ones who did not make it home,” Leonard said.

The event starts at 11 a.m. at Idlewilde Cemetery on the Heights. It involves armed services organizations and their auxiliaries community groups, businesses, and students. The community is welcome to attend.

The ceremony will include presentation of wreaths and reading of 19 new names on the Bud Collins Walk of Honor, where a total of 109 plaques pay tribute to local men and women who served the U.S. in the military.

The ceremony will also feature a reading of 18 newly added names to the Japanese-American monument, which was installed last Memorial Day.

Sexton Bob Huskey will also announce plans for phase 3 of the Walk of Honor, a large stone engraved with the name of every veteran from Hood River County.

Huskey said the ceremony will also pay honor to World War II soldier Mike Kight, who was lain to rest in White Salmon on May 18. Kight’s remains were found this spring in The Netherlands, where he had died during the pivotal Operation Market Garden in 1944.

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