Grant County honored veterans at Seventh Street Complex in John Day.

John Day Elks Lodge exalted ruler Charles Caughlin spoke on the history of Veterans Day. The long-held tradition, which is celebrated at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, is an annual tradition for the Elks.

Vietnam veteran Robert Van Voorhis read a letter from Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Kim Fitzpatrick, who due to travel restrictions on state employees, was not able to attend the ceremony.

She said the ODVA, for the first time in over a century, would not be hosting an in-person event in Salem near the World War II memorial.

“2020 will long be remembered as a year of tremendous change and challenge for our nation. Yet this year also gives us reasons to celebrate. It marks 75 years since the of another historic challenge — World War II,” Fitzpatrick said in the letter.

Van Voorhis said Grant County is “very good” at taking care of veterans. He recognized the county’s Veterans Service Office, headed up by Katie Hoffman, who is a veteran as well.

The ceremony concluded with a rifle salute from members of the American Legion and taps played by Ed Heiple.

The Elks Lodge, which usually holds a free lunch, open to the public, instead held a drive-through.


Steven Mitchell is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at or 541-575-0710.

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