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May 30, 2014
Memorial Day Address at the Oroville Memorial Park Cemetery
Given by Sheriff Kory Honea- Memorial Day 2014
Remarks On many a Memorial Day over the years, we have heard moving messages spoken by military veterans. Many have worn decorations that acknowledge their valor; many have also borne the wounds that marked their sacrifice in wars. Although I am not a veteran of the armed forces, I feel a special bond to those who served in the military as a result of my chosen career. When it came time to plan my life of service, I put on a different kind of uniform. And for the past twenty years I have served my community as a peace officer. Like all of you though, I an one whose life has benefited from the service of those who volunteered and those who answered our nation’s call to arms. And like you, I have enormous respect for those who fought to defend our country. This respect is deepened on Memorial Day as my thought turn to the men and women who went to war and did not return to their family, their home, their community. We gather at this time each year to remember them. We speak of their sacrifice. We speak of duty, honor, country. But there must be more we can offer to honor the fallen. Surely there is more we can do after the rattle of rifle salute no longer echoes, and the playing of taps has faded. Of course there is. First, as a nation we can honor the fallen by caring for their survivors…. by helping to ensure that the lives of those who lost loved ones are not impoverished by loneliness. The child, the spouse, the brother, sister of parent must know that our community is gathered ‘round with our combined strength and comfort. Our acknowledgement of their loved ones’ sacrifice should not be offered only once a year. We can honor the fallen by reaching out for the hand of the returning veteran, welcoming him or her into our homes, our clubs and associations, our churches and workplaces. To those who survived conflict we owe our friendship, our help and, to the extent we can, an opportunity to build a new life with a new job. We can honor the fallen by encouraging those who follow them into military service. We must let them know as they leave our community to defend us that they have our support. Young people going off to serve can be heartened and strengthened by the knowledge that the people they defend truly understand what they are prepared to sacrifice. And finally, we can honor the fallen by practicing good citizenship – by honoring the freedoms they fought for… the freedom of speech and worship and assembly and, yes, our right to vote, for which so many died and so many of us fail to exercise. America, with all its challenges, remains a great and proud nation. It is made greater and more proud by those who have fought and died for us. Never forget them. Never, ever forget them.

Memorial Day by Stu Shaner at the Green Bridge, May 26, 2014
“Well, I woke up yesterday morning thinking, I’m always thinking, Sherry Morehouse, our leader on Oroville’s Memorial day events, put my name on the Bridge Program. What am I going to say? Oh, I have spoken out here many times in the past, usually I ad lib about how I was glad to see so many patriotic people out here to Honor our Heroes. I would thank the Thermalito, Nelson Avenue Band for coming out here in the 40’s, 50.s and 60’s and then coming back abain under the Leadership of Bob Christiansen . My grand daughter Jessica, plays in his beginning band this year, she is in 6th grade. Today is for the 7th and8th graders, who ask Mr. Christensen,” Do we get to go out on the bridge”. It makes me feel good that they want to come. As I write this a train goes by, I’m thinking those tracks carried many a young man through Oroville to fight in the Pacific Theater of War. Many never to return. I’m sitting on the south end of the bridge writing this the sign says Table Mt. Bridge 1907. I know 2 other Bridges maybe 3 have been built here before this one, taken a way by the rushing Feather River and I am thinking how many Oroville boys and girls, soon to be Men and Women have crossed this bridge in these last 107 years. How many, so many, to many have crossed this bridge, never to come home. I can easy name many who did not come home. One example is PFC Thomas Van Campen. He loved to roam the hills around Oroville in his short young life. I’m sure he walked across this very Bridge. Now the sad, misty eyed part of this speech comes as I write, PFC Thomas Van Campen, Missing in Action the first young man to be lost from Butte, Glenn and Tehama Counties in the Vietnam War. I say lost because to many families of MIA’s he is Missing. His Sister Joan Lee Van Campen, a long time ago said please don’t play taps at our POW/MIA ceremony and to this day we don’t. Think about this grand bridge it has been here through the Great War, WWII, Korea, The Cold War, Vietnam the Wars on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. I hope that the next coming 100 years people still come out here, the Thermalito Band still plays, a speaker says “Hey we haven’t had a War in almost 100 years. But we found one old Veteran who died this year at 120 years old. So let’s ring the bell one time for him, listen to the band and honor those who died so long ago and go home. And Sam in the crowd who is 130 says “You better keep coming back every year because, God only knows when you will ring that bell for me.” Maybe this Bridge could be dedicated to all the Women and Men that served our Great Country and to those who “Gave All” Now in closing, turn around and look to our Memorial across the way. Someday and I hope soon, there will thousands of names in stone there of our Heroes of America. Oh, and I think I can smell the American Legions Hamburgers cooking.