During Memorial Day weekend, residents will gather at local ceremonies, events and at grave sites throughout the valley to honor veterans who have died in American wars.
In Ashland, members of the Southern Oregon Concert Band and Valley of the Rogue New Horizons Band will kick off Ashland's annual Memorial Day remembrance at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Mountain View Cemetery, 440 Normal Ave., Ashland. The service will begin at 11 a.m. with comments by commanders of the American Legion and Ashland Veterans of Foreign Affairs.
This year's keynote speaker, Joe Brett, operations and client-relations director for Rogue Valley Community Television, will talk about his older brother, Capt. Robert A. Brett Jr., also known as "Lefty," who graduated at the top of his class from a U.S. Air Force flight school. Sadly, Robert Brett never returned from his first combat mission in 1972 out of Thakli Air Force Base in Thailand.
Ashland High School junior Braedon Bell will sing the national anthem. Chairs will be provided. The ceremony will conclude at noon. For more information, call 541-261-5867.
The following is a list of events scheduled elsewhere this weekend:
The third annual Mill Creek Memorial Veterans Festival, featuring fun runs, a parade, bed races and more, is planned from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 26, in downtown Prospect.
The festival, which is a fundraiser for veterans organizations, begins at 7:30 a.m. with a Cougar Fun Run of five- and 10-mile distances.
The parade starts at 10 a.m., followed by the Bed Races, a flag retirement ceremony and a moment of silence for a fallen vet.
There'll also be live music, a Kids Camp with games, craft and food booths and a horseshoe tournament. All proceeds will go to assist local veterans. For more information, call 541-531-8307 or 541-621-2374.
The program will include patriotic music by the Southern Oregon Scottish Bagpipe Band, a rifle salute, flag display and an advancement of colors by veteran-service organizations. "Taps" will be played by retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Al Zeller, and Brian Williams will sing the national anthem and "God Bless the USA."
An Oregon Air National Guard F-15 jet will fly over the event, along with World War II biplanes and helicopters. Students from Scenic Middle School in Central Point will place small, U.S. flags on nearly 17,000 grave sites. Call 541-826-2511.
White City Parade: The 13th annual White City Memorial Day Parade will begin at 1:30 p.m. Monday along Antelope and Division roads to Burns Park. The parade theme is "A Simple Thank You," and this year's grand marshal will be a trolley carrying veterans from all branches of the military. Other parade participants include a Jackson County sheriff's posse, classic cars, Boy Scouts, equestrian groups and military vehicles, to name a few. Food, games, live music, pony rides and a dunk tank will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. at the park. Call 541-261-9978 or 541-826-6010.