Hood River honors fallen Americans

CUB Scouts from Troop 378 Austin Marquez, left, and Jack Wilson carry a duffel bag during the reading of “Sea Bags in the Rain.”

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea.
CUB Scouts from Troop 378 Austin Marquez, left, and Jack Wilson carry a duffel bag during the reading of “Sea Bags in the Rain.”

A drizzle moistened Monday’s Memorial Day observance, not enough to drive away the congregation, as evidenced by the 300 or so attendees at the Idlewilde Cemetery event.

Music by Andy Streich and the HRVHS band and choir highlighted the occasion, along with presentation of wreaths and reading of new names on the Veterans’ Walk of Honor. Sexton Bob Huskey spoke passionately about honoring fallen veterans every day.

But on this day, the rain embellished the raw details in the poem “Sea Bags in the Rain,” by R.B. Gentry, read by Scoutmaster Nick Kirby.

Cub Scouts solemnly brought forth duffel bags as Kirby read the poem, which speaks of a soldier’s thoughts on “rows and rows of duffle bags stacked beneath the rain” and the memory of the men who carried those bags in service to their country. Gentry’s poem reads in part,

“It is the plight of warriors to leave before their time,

“Dying on foreign battlefields caked with mud and grime.

“Broken hearts, mangled limbs and bodies wracked with pain;

“And all their meager possessions stowed in duffle bags wet from rain.”

Huskey told the crowd, “Thank you for your support of our veterans, God bless our veterans, and all of those still serving our nation.”

He encouraged everyone to make active remembering a daily practice, thanking the veterans for “continuing to share the stories of your service and, most importantly, sharing the stories of all those who make the ultimate sacrifice.”

He noted that federal defense budget cutbacks have limited the participation by color guards, aircraft flyovers, and other elements of Memorial Day services.

“They have taken away from the proper honors to our nation’s fallen,” he said.

As a result, he said, “The responsibility of remembrance falls on us, not just the American Legion or the veterans organizations, not just those serving in uniform, but every man, and woman and child who woke up this morning in the land of the free, that is our obligation. “Remember the fallen in the manner befitting their sacrifices is not a luxury. It is our solemn duty. “

“As we honor the fallen this Memorial Day let us remember the symbolism of the flag code: the flag is flown half mast from sunrise until noon, then flown to its peak until sunset. “Halfmast is to honor all of those who have given their lives in service to our nation, and then it would be flown high on the pole for a nation that would defend it that lives on.”

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge


hvcporter says...

That is Austen Marquez and Zack Brockway :)

Posted 28 May 2013, 6:27 p.m. Suggest removal

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