Annual Memorial Day event canceled

04.30.2020 Dean Rhodes Events
The annual Memorial Day luncheon and name reading held at the Tribal Community Center and West Valley Veterans Memorial has been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Timothy J. Gonzalez)

By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

Tribal Council member Steve Bobb Sr. announced that the annual Memorial Day ceremony held at the West Valley Veterans Memorial will not be held on Monday, May 25.

“We held out hope, but believe at this time that we need to announce the cancellation of this Memorial Day, reading of the names and the ‘Roll the Dice’ car show at the casino,” Bobb said in an e-mail on Wednesday, April 29.

Army veterans Douglas D. Stake, Alden H. Clark, Linden W. Frederic, Donald E. Holsclaw, David W. Weaver and Mervin J. Holmes and Navy veteran Ramona L. Quenelle will have their names etched on to one of the four black granite pillars – one for each major branch of the U.S. military. Clark and Quenelle are Grand Ronde Tribal members.

Bobb said a contractor will still come out to Grand Ronde in the near future to etch the names in the granite columns.

This year’s ceremony would have been the 18th held after the memorial was dedicated in 2003. It was designed by Bobb, a Vietnam War-era Marine Corps veteran, and features a man and woman dressed in traditional Native clothing standing side by side reaching for the sky.

The four pillars feature the names of Tribal and community members from Grand Ronde, Willamina and Sheridan. The addition of seven more names will bring the total on all four pillars to 2,369.