The World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. Fountains in the Rainbow Pool with the Atlantic Pavilion in the background. photo by Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress
The World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. Fountains in the Rainbow Pool with the Atlantic Pavilion in the background. photo by Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress
2020 is the first year since the formation of VFW Post 8138 in August of 1946 that a public honoring of Memorial Day in Sisters had to be canceled.

However, a small group of local veterans from Post 8138, American Legion Post 86, and Band of Brothers in cooperation with the City of Sisters held a short ceremony on Memorial Day at the Village Green. Our purpose was two fold: first to honor all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedoms in all wars.

The second was to pay a special tribute to a passing legacy know as the “Greatest Generation.” Greatest Generation is a term used to describe those who grew up during the Great Depression and fought in World War II, or whose labor helped win it. America and the world were saved from the evil of totalitarianism rule and fascism. In total over 405,000 Americans gave their lives in the WWII conflict.

Besides the thousands of World War II veterans that lie in cemeteries across America, cemeteries throughout Europe and the Pacific also hold the remains of Americans lost during World War II.

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial was the first World War II cemetery and memorial located in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, that honors American troops. A total of 9,238 are buried there. This cemetery contains the graves of 45 pairs of brothers (30 of which buried side by side), a father and his son, an uncle and his nephew, two pairs of cousins, three generals, four chaplains, four civilians, four women, 147 African Americans and 20 Native Americans. One of the Medal of Honor recipients buried there is Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., son of President Theodore Roosevelt.

In St. Avold, France lie the remains of 10,489 Americans who gave their lives. It is the largest American World War II cemetery in Europe. 151 unknowns are buried here whose gravestone merely states “Here Rests in Honored Glory a Comrade in Arms Unknown but to God.”

At the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines lie 17,201 service members who perished in WWII.

One World War II survivor we had chosen to speak at our ceremony this year is Leon E. Devereaux, a U.S. Navy fighter pilot and resident of Bend. Please take the opportunity to read his biography in this issue of The Nugget.

Later this year we will be holding a special ceremony at the Village Green Sisters Veterans Memorial to remember Sisters veterans whom have passed away this past year.

When you have the opportunity after social distancing restrictions are eased be sure to thank a veteran.