Tribal Government & News

Volcanoes holding Native American Veterans Appreciation Night on July 5

06.27.2012 Ron Karten Events

SALEM -- Grand Ronde Tribal veterans will play a major role in the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes' Native American Veterans Appreciation Night on Thursday, July 5, at Volcanoes Stadium.

Tribal Council members and veterans Reyn Leno, Steve Bobb Sr. and June Sherer will throw out ceremonial first pitches, the Grand Ronde Honor Guard will participate in pre-game activities and the family of Tribal Elder Marce Norwest, who walked on in 2011, will be honored.

"We hope the word gets out so we have many Native Americans in Native dress," said Jerry Howard, Volcanoes Senior Marketing Executive and director of Game Day Operations. "It looks so beautiful and I know our fans would love it."

Howard said events begin two hours before game time at 5:15 p.m. when a caisson containing a flag-draped casket will be parked in front of the main entry gate.

At 5:20, the Grand Ronde Drum Group will play for five minutes in a tribute to deceased and fallen Native American veterans.

After the Oregon State Defense Force Bagpipe Band plays "Amazing Grace," the Grand Ronde Honor Guard will carry the casket to a teepee located inside the stadium. The teepee will be surrounded by American flags.

About an hour later, at 6:24 p.m., a tribute and video honoring Army Specialist Lori Ann Piestewa, a Hopi Indian who became the first woman killed in Iraq during the 2003 invasion and the first Native American woman ever killed in combat in any U.S. war, will be shown.

Then there will be a tribute to "Native American National Hero" Cpl. Ira Hayes, a hero of Iwo Jima during World War II.

Tribal Elder Jolanda Catabay will sing "America the Beautiful" and "God Bless America" at 6:43.

At 6:49 p.m., Leno and Bobb, both Vietnam-era Marine Corps veterans who served tours of duty in the war, and Sherer, who served in the Army during the Vietnam era, will throw out ceremonial first pitches. Tribal Elder and veteran Alton Butler also will throw out a first pitch as well.

At 6:59, Tribal member Ayden Bobb will be the ceremonial child who runs the bases.

After the placing of a "fallen warriors" memorial at home plate and a performance of "Native American Amazing Grace," the family of Marcellus Norwest will be escorted to home plate for a tribute, which will include a plaque presentation to his widow, Sharon.

Norwest entered the U.S. Army in the early 1950s and served in the Korean War as a machine gunner, firing 50-caliber cannons. Upon returning to Grand Ronde, he worked for the Tribe for 18 years, part of that as Forest Patrol Officer, and was very active in veterans groups and activities.

After the tribute and the playing of taps, Becky Yuso will sing the national anthem and the game will start. The Volcanoes, a Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, will play the Vancouver Canadians, an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, in the Northwest League game.

After the game, at approximately 9:45 p.m., events will end with a Fourth of July staple - a fireworks show.

Tickets range from $5 to $20 and can be purchased on the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Web site or by calling 503-390-2225.