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‘They gave their lives for us’: Crook County honors the fallen at Prineville Memorial Day parade, wreath drop

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A Memorial Day parade took place Monday morning in downtown Prineville. Hundreds showed up to honor and pay respects to those who gave their lives for America's freedom.

The parade started on Fourth Street, ending at Ochoco Creek Park. And while the parade honored those who have fallen in service to their country, it also helped to inspire the next generation to serve.

It seemed most of the town turned out to remember those who died serving their nation.

Representatives from the Prineville VFW Auxiliary and the American Legion dropped a wreath into Ochoco Creek at the conclusion of the parade, to honor those who have died in battles at sea.

I asked parade attendees about why they wanted to be on hand.

"I think just to get the chance to honor men and women that died for our country," Prineville resident Terri Faith told us. "They gave their lives for us, and we owe it to them to come out and recognize that."

Another parade-goer, Martha Molima, said, "I like seeing veterans turning out with their service medals and ... you can see on their faces they aren't going to tell those stories, but they hold the memories dear. And I honor them for that."

Some of the younger paradegoers were inspired by what they saw, heard and felt.

Conner Goble was one of those young attendees.

"I want to join, because if I want to serve I can serve," he said.

Goble added, "There's like, not that many people who want to serve, but there are people who want to serve -- good people out there who would go into the war and fight for the country."

Conner's sister, Alexxis, says she wants to join her brother on his journey.

"I'm going into the Army with my brother," she said. "My brother likes the Army, and I saw an Army tank."

An Army tank seemed to have caught the eye of the young parade watchers.

"I would probably want to run tanks -- run tanks and learn how to fix tanks," Alexxis said. "And be a mechanic, work in the armored forces."

For some, Memorial Day weekend marks the start of summer. But for many in Prineville and across the High Desert, the day represents what courage looks like.

Molima was pleased to see the town support the holiday. "The whole town turned out, people come from all over the place. And the children come and they show their little ones what we're all about and why these things are important."

Her sentiment was seconded by Faith.

"It's a beautiful day," she said. "We had great turnout, lots of people. We have a dedication to them over in the park. So just a great day to give honor to people who deserve it."

After the parade, a service took place at Juniper Haven Cemetery, along with a Memorial Day ceremony at the Crook County Fairgrounds.

Article Topic Follows: Prineville

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Blake Mayfield

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


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