A Veterans Day ceremony presented by members of John Day Elks Lodge 1824 began at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month at Seventh Street Complex in John Day, the presentation ending with a gun salute and the playing of “Taps.”

Exalted Ruler Mark Womer spoke about many acts of service for veterans in the history of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, including a 700-bed reconstruction hospital in Boston, built in 1918 to accommodate wounded and maimed veterans.

Trustee Tom Winters presented flags from each of the military branches as other Elks members spoke of the sacrifices made by the veterans.

Audience members joined the presenters in singing the national anthem and “God Bless America” as well as reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Veterans in the audience were asked to stand as State Elks Southeast District Veterans Chairman Bob Van Voorhis recognized them for their service.

He said that all the schools in Grant County are inviting veterans to speak this week.

“That is a thank-you to us, and there comes a time when we as veterans need to say thank you to our communities,” he said.

Van Voorhis noted that, thanks to the Grant County Court Judge Scott Myers, the county has been recognized as a Purple Heart county.

He said the John Day Elks Lodge works to support and assist veterans, with activities such as a weekly coffee time at 9 a.m. each Wednesday at the Lodge, fly tying classes, equine therapy and tele-health to help veterans communicate with their doctors for follow-up appointments.

“There are a lot of organizations that will talk the talk — we walk the walk,” he said.

The ceremony, attended by more than 60 locals, ended with a gun salute presented by the American Legion Ellis Tracy Post 77 and Ed Heiple playing “Taps” on the trumpet.


Angel Carpenter is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. She can be contacted at angel@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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