Tribal Government & News

Tribe holding annual Memorial Day events on May 30

05.12.2011 Dean Rhodes Events

On Monday, May 30, the Tribal Memorial Day observance will begin again at the Grand Ronde cemetery at 8 a.m., according to Tribal Elder Gene LaBonte, a Navy veteran and former chair of the Governor's Advisory Committee on Veterans Affairs.

As in previous years, the Grand Ronde Honor Guard will begin its rounds at 8:30 a.m. honoring veterans at local cemeteries, including those in Willamina, Buck Hollow and Sheridan.

Last year, the National Guard in McMinnville brought out its cannon and fired blank shells at each stop. LaBonte anticipates they'll be back again this year.

Also last year, the Honor Guard was invited to stop at Tribal foster homes to honor veterans living there. The group anticipates stopping at them again this year.

"People tend to not think about the pressure that's put on our military," said Tribal Council member and Marine veteran Steve Bobb Sr., "but it's always a good day to recognize our vets.

"We make heroes of athletes and entertainers who make millions of dollars and have all this fame. For me, the heroes are these guys out in harm's way, away from their families, and they do it without expectations of pay or fame."

From noon to 1 p.m., lunch prepared by the Tribal Mək Mək Haws will be served at the Tribal Community Center, across from the West Valley Veterans' Memorial on the Tribal campus. Lunch will include lasagna, mixed vegetables, fruit and green salad, dinner roll, cake and drinks.

The official Memorial Day program begins at 1 p.m. at the Steve Bobb Sr.-designed memorial and will feature local, regional and statewide dignitaries also have been invited. Congressman David Wu is sending a letter to be read at the event.

Twenty-seven new names, six of them of Tribal members, will be unveiled on the memorial's black marble surfaces during the ceremony. A feather, signifying Tribal membership, was added to Wilson S. Bobb Jr.'s name for the upcoming observance, though his name previously was included on the memorial.

Members of the Grand Ronde Tribal Council, Elders, Grand Ronde Royalty and the Grand Ronde Canoe Family all are scheduled to participate.

The Grand Ronde Honor Guard and the Tribal Public Affairs Office are coordinating this year's event.