Members of Parkdale Community Church recently honored all military personnel and first responders, past and present, with a flagpole, American flag and bronze plaque.

More than 40 community members, including military and members of the Parkdale Fire Department, attended the ceremony to extend their thanks and respect, said a PCC press release.

Pastor Mark Willems began the ceremony with a blessing and a prayer. Army Captain Amy McIlvana, from Hood River, an Army Reserve nurse who works as a civilian nurse at a hospital in Happy Valley, raised the flag.

After those in attendance recited the Pledge of Allegiance, Hood River Veterans’ Administration Officer Tricia Stevens, shared about her work with veterans and the services offered through the local VA office. Mike McCafferty, Parkdale Fire Department chief, spoke of the dedication of those who work with the fire department and the importance of their volunteers. He shared how they are honored when they serve their community, receiving joy in helping their neighbors, said the press release.

“Our community is blessed to be protected by such selfless individuals. When firefighters arrived, they came in style,” continued the press release. “Pulling up to the church on their fire truck was a great display of their participation.

“The audience was greatly touched when Nick Kirby recited his version of ‘The Old Ragged Flag,’ which he followed with a salute. JoAnn Gage, Toni Broderick, Charlotte Severns, Shirley Thornhill, Mary Smith and Linda Douthit from the Parkdale Church of the Nazarene sang ‘America the Beautiful,’ ‘God Bless America,’ and led the crowd in singing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’”

The church thanks Stanley DeHart, Hal Dykstra, Larry and Jeri Rector, and John Wright for their work and dedication preparing the foundation for the flagpole and plaque, those whose financial donations made this possible, Bud and Judy Lacey for donating the flagpole and to all who participated in the dedication ceremony, said the press release. The bronze plaque was made by W-N Art Bronze Co. of Fresno, Calif.

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