Everything Bend Oregon

Honoring Our Heroes: Bend’s Comprehensive Memorial Day Ceremonies

Honoring Our Heroes: Bend’s Comprehensive Memorial Day Ceremonies

by | May 22, 2024

As Memorial Day approaches, Bend, Oregon, is set to honor the brave hearts who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the Afghan-Iraqi Wars with profound and moving events. The city’s residents and visitors alike will have the opportunity to partake in the 16th annual “We Are Remembering – Not Just a Number” event at Troy Field and a solemn service at Deschutes Memorial Gardens. These ceremonies are not only a tribute to the valor of U.S. service members but also a reminder of the cost of freedom.

The “We Are Remembering – Not Just a Number” event, scheduled to run from 8:00 am to 11:30 pm PST, promises an emotional rollercoaster as it embarks on the live reading of the name, age, and hometown of every U.S. service person who has fallen in Afghanistan since 2001 and in Iraq since 2003. This reading, which now extends over 15 hours due to the heartbreaking length of the list, will also be webcasted live to reach a wider audience. Troy Field will host nearly 7,500 hand-written placards, each bearing the name of a fallen hero, converting the space into a powerful and touching memorial for the community to reflect and remember.

Community members gather for the emotive Reading of Names ceremony, paying tribute to each lost hero.
Community members gather for the emotive Reading of Names ceremony, paying tribute to each lost hero.  Source: memorialdayoregon.com
The tranquil Deschutes Memorial Gardens, a place of remembrance and honor during Memorial Day.
The tranquil Deschutes Memorial Gardens, a place of remembrance and honor during Memorial Day.  Source: memorialdayoregon.com

The visual aspects of the Reading of Names event highlight the emotional depth and magnitude of the commemoration. Photographs from previous years show rows upon rows of placards fluttering in the breeze, each a poignant reminder of a life lost too soon. Everyone who attends, either in-person or via the live webcast, is confronted with the visual impact of the nearly 7,500 service members lost, which is both heart-wrenching and a stark representation of the sacrifices made for the nation’s security and freedom.

In the serene setting of the Deschutes Memorial Gardens, a second event will commence at 1:00 pm, providing another opportunity for reflection and remembrance. Located at 63875 N. Hwy 97 in Bend, this service is designed to bring together the community in a shared moment of honor and mourning. The Memorial Gardens, with their tranquil beauty, offer a fitting backdrop for such a commemoration, inviting participants to pay their respects and perhaps find some measure of peace amidst the collective sorrow.

Program details for the Deschutes Memorial Gardens Service are readily available, including directions to ensure community members can join without hindrance. The organizers encourage broad participation, as coming together as a community can provide solace and strength. This Memorial Day in Bend promises to be a profound acknowledgment of the sacrifices made in the Afghan-Iraqi Wars, providing spaces for both collective mourning and personal reflection. It’s a heartfelt invitation to all who wish to remember and honor those who have given everything for their country.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This