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Flag Day ceremony: Commemoration for parents of fallen aviator takes place at Bend Heroes Memorial

(Update: Adding video, comments from Bend Heroes Foundation Chairman, cadet commanders who placed flags)

'We're celebrating the symbol of our country'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Bend Heroes Foundation participated in its traditional, annual Flag Day ceremony at the Bend Heroes Memorial in Brooks Park on Wednesday morning, and this year's event included a special flag presentation.

Bend Heroes Foundation Chairman Dick Tobiason began the ceremony with a short speech about the meaning of the day and the significance of June 14th, which also marks the U.S. Army's 248th birthday.

"Flag Day is uplifting as well, because we're celebrating the symbol of our country," Tobiason said.

A small crowd gathered at the memorial to commemorate the 246th anniversary of the American flag. Deschutes County Commissioner Patti Adair was one of the attendees, and read President Biden's Flag Day proclamation.

Under the leadership of Senior Naval Instructor Scott Buchanan (Major, USAF, Retired), the Mountain View High School Cadet Corps and volunteers installed 250 flags along Newport Avenue and in downtown Bend following the ceremony at the memorial, including 60 flags with World War II veterans names embroidered on them.

Former Mountain View cadet commander Arthur Stolting helped place some of the flags. Each flag carries the name of a local service member lost in the line of duty.

"It's really an honor to be able to post someone on display for the whole community, that they were a part of Bend, and they served the community for the greater good," Stolting said.

Lieutenant Kenneth David Roberts graduated from Mountain View in 1985, and died at the age of 25 in a Navy aircraft accident while training at El Centro Naval Air Station, California in 1992.  

His parents were in attendance Wednesday morning to accept a flag with their son's name that recently was flown over the U.S. Capitol.

Current Mountain View cadet Commander Lucy Crenshaw said she felt honored to hand the flag over to Roberts' parents.

"It's definitely a huge honor to be able to bring that flag out and present it to them and present that declaration that the flag had been flown over the Capitol," she said.

Tobiason explained the flag's importance, in his words: "It's what veterans fight to preserve: the liberty and the freedoms that go along with the flag."

With flags placed at the Bend Heroes Memorial over 150 times throughout the last 18 years, the display may be a common sight.

But the meaning behind each tribute is distinct.

Stolting said, "It's kind of just sending a message that you don't have to be a part of this program to serve your community -- especially when it comes to honoring veterans."

Tobiason concluded, "Veterans tend to think of Veterans Day and Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day. But, this is not a veterans' day -- this is America's day. America's flag."

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Blake Mayfield

Blake Mayfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.


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