SALEM -- Dozens of veterans from World War II gathered in Salem along with family members and nearly 2,000 others to dedicate a war memorial to those who died in the war.
3,771 names line the stones walls of the memorial.
Many of the survivors walked with canes or walkers. Family members pushed others in wheelchairs.
Their faces show the passing of decades. But time failed to quench their fire.
Former Army Ranger Bill Brown said he still feels it when he talks with college kids.
“If we hadn’t stopped the Japanese when we did, you might have been talking Japanese here in this country. And I tell them I enjoyed what I did. Didn’t mind it, didn’t regret it or nothing like that,” he said.
But no one escapes war unharmed. Jay Jordan from Prineville joined the navy right after the Japanese attacked.
“We was pretty bad. We lost a lot of ships and stuff at Pearl Harbor, a lot of people there,” he said.
Many like Jay Jordan were just teens when they joined the war effort.
“I’m proud to be an American. I volunteered to get in the Navy to stop this war,” he said.
This was a day to dedicate a memorial and remember the many who fought then came home and went on with their lives.
Frank Moore, from Roseburg, sat in the second row for the day’s ceremony. He hit the beach on the second day of D-Day, then fought through Europe. He understands the price of peace better than most.
“Europe is experiencing the longest period of peace, in Europe itself, in history. So yes. It’s been worth it,” he said.