Town honors veterans

The nation paused on Sunday to remember the sacrifices of soldiers who have fought for America's freedom.

A national crisis in New York and a world crisis in Afghanistan mixed with the chilled air and gray skies to create a stirring Veterans Day ceremony at Overlook Park this November.

The military jets that flew over slightly before the event are now on regular patrols. Mothers who remember their husbands fighting in Vietnam or Korea now have their military sons, daughters, grandsons or grandaughters going to war.

Memories -- or what many hoped were memories -- are once again realities. America is at war this Veterans Day. It's been nearly 25 years since this country has honored its veterans at the same time a new generation is again called to arms.

"Sometimes, even in times of national crisis, we overlook the sacrifices of those who came before us," reminded Unit 22 Post Commander Keith Doroski, who spoke at Sunday's ceremony. About 75 people attended.

Two men, John Murakami and Art Iwasaki, are living reminders of sacrifice. Both men, honored with commemorative bricks at the Overlook Memorial Sunday, where members of the WWII Nisei troops.

These were Japanese men fighting for their adopted country, against their country of origin while their families were imprisoned here in America.

At one time, many of Hood River's Nisei Veterans had their names struck from a wall of honor affixed at the Hood River County Courthouse. In the face of ignorance, they served without question.

With America at war again, history is the reminder of the freedom and strength we enjoy, noted Doroski.

"This troubled time has also shown the American people in all of their strength. They have demonstrated seemingly inexhaustible empathy and generosity," he said.

"Hopefully, the impact of this annual tradition helps extend the spirit of honor and gratitude throughout this year."

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