31 names being added to West Valley Veterans Memorial
By Dean Rhodes
Smoke Signals editor
Thirty-one names, including those of two World War I veterans, will be added to the West Valley Veterans Memorial during the 13th annual Memorial Day Ceremony beginning at noon Monday, May 25.
Veterans Special Event Board Chairman Steve Bobb Sr., a Vietnam War-era Marine Corps veteran, said it is rare to add the names of World War I veterans because of the difficulty in obtaining the proper paperwork to verify their military service.
The two World War I veterans, both of whom served in the Army, are Tribal member Abraham Tom and Jacob J. Schryvers.
The West Valley Veterans Memorial was designed by Bobb and erected to honor Tribal and nonTribal veterans from the West Valley communities of Sheridan, Willamina and Grand Ronde. The memorial, dedicated in 2003, is the location of the Tribe’s annual Memorial Day observance.
The 31 new names bring the total number of men and women honored on the memorial’s four black granite pillars, which represent the four major branches of the armed services, to 2,314.
Memorial Day festivities start at 8 a.m. with a service honoring veterans buried at the Tribal Cemetery. Events continue at noon in the Tribal Community Center with a traditional meal of ceremonial meat stew prepared by the Tribal Nutrition Program.
Beginning at 1 p.m., Bobb will give the invocation and act as master of ceremonies. The Grand Ronde Drummers will perform a memorial song and Tribal member Jolanda Catabay will sing the national anthem.
Grand Ronde Royalty will perform “The Lord’s Prayer” and the Grand Ronde Honor Guard will post the colors.
After introduction of Tribal Council members in attendance, Yamhill County Veterans’ Services Administrator Jerry Wilson and Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Cameron Smith will be the featured speakers.
Following the reading of the names, Bud Abbott will read the poem “Remember Me, America,” and Land and Culture Department Manager Jan Looking Wolf Reibach will perform a medley of taps and “Amazing Grace” on Native flute. Bob Thornton will then play taps on the trumpet.
Ernie Keener is scheduled to read the lone name of the veteran being added to the Marine Corps pillar: Timothy J. Giddings.
Al Miller, a member of the Grand Ronde Honor Guard, will read the Navy names: Tribal member Allen A. Langley, Cal Edward Landon, Gerald L. and Anthony F. Eisele, Emil D. Evans, Richard C. Houston (Coast Guard), Jerry W. Babcock, Andrew S. Schryvers, William N. Carl, George S. Spelts, Ronald C. Ksionsk, Janos Sandor Vamos and Michael B. Carl.
Grand Ronde Senior Veterans Queen Savannah Ingram and Junior Veterans Queen Amelia Mooney will read the Air Force names: Robert Voytilla, Dan N. Ham, Harlan W. Houston and Anthony E. Foster.
And Tribal member Raymond Petite will read the names of the Army veterans: Richard D. Werst, Lee Roy Smith Jr., Matthew McCandless, Eric F. Boyce, Vernon A. Edwards, Jacob J. Schryvers, Tribal member Abraham Tom, Darrell R. Burres, Bruce J. Carl, Tribal member Peter V. Sulkey, Tribal member William J. Langley, Larry R. Baker and Ray Brown.
The Memorial Day observance usually concludes about 2 p.m. with the retirement of the colors.