ENTERPRISE — More than 40 Americans from Wallowa County who had fallen in service to their country were remembered Monday, May 31, during solemn ceremonies on the lawn of the Wallowa County Courthouse.
The ceremonies were led by members of veterans’ groups, including the local Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion chapters. Taps was played and a prayer read by Randy Morgan.
Among the 45 wooden “head stones” laid out on the courthouse lawn were the names and hometowns of veterans from wars dating back to the Black Hawk War — a brief, 1832 Indian war in Illinois and Michigan Territory that gave Abraham Lincoln his only military experience, although he saw no combat. Also listed on the head stones were veterans of the Mexican War, both sides in the Civil War, the Indian Wars of the late 1800s, the Spanish-American War, both World Wars, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The veterans listed came from all over Wallowa County.
More than 50 people showed up Monday to hear the tributes to the fallen veterans and the Guard of Honor as its four members took turns firing a shot as each name was read.
“Last year, we rang a bell for each name, but we decided we liked this better,” one of the guard members said.
Memorial Day remembrances were conducted in Wallowa County on Monday. Hundreds of U.S. flags adorned the graves of service men and women at cemeteries throughout the county, with the VFW honoring the lives of the military members at each stop.
“We offer a solemn tribute to all comrades wherever they may rest,” Jim Henson, commander of VFW Post 4307, said during the ceremony at the Enterprise Cemetery.
The ceremonies provided an opportunity to recall the sacrifices of those who fought for the nation’s freedom.
“In memory to the heroic dead who have fallen in defense of the United States of America, I place this tribute of our devotion and everlasting remembrance,” said VFW member and Vietnam War veteran John Roberts as he placed one of four wreaths at the VFW memorial in Enterprise.