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Eugene and Springfield communities celebrate Veterans Day

To honor those who served the country, community members held events at Skinner Butte Park in Eugene and the Veterans Plaza at Willamalane Park in Springfield.

Posted: Nov 11, 2018 4:52 PM
Updated: Nov 12, 2018 12:11 AM

EUGENE-SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Community members in Eugene and Springfield came together Sunday morning to celebrate Veterans Day.

Sunday marked 100 years since the end of World War I.

To honor those who served the country, both living and dead, community members held events at Skinner Butte Park in Eugene and the Veterans Plaza at Willamalane Park in Springfield.

Springfield Mayor and Navy Veteran Christine Lundberg spoke at Willamalane Park as well Colonel Connie Jenkins with the United States Air Force, and representatives from the offices of Congressman DeFazio, Senator Merkley, and Senator Wyden.

The commemoration included Flag Detail provided by the Native American Honor Guard and a Wreath Ceremony led by the Emerald Empire Young Marines.

Mark Barker. a 30 year veteran served in the U.S. Marine Corp said when he found out the Springfield Veteran's Day parade was cancelled, he took action.

"We got a group together and tried to pull this together with Neil Laudati from the City of Springfield," he said.

Eugene also celebrated with their first ever 'Veterans Day Ruck.'

Organizers said a 'ruck' means traveling a long distance on foot with a backpack.

Community members traveled up Skinner Butte and holding a moment of silence to honor those veterans only with us in spirit.

James Miller, one of the organizers, said this event is close to his heart.

"I served in the Marine Corp from 2003 to 2007 and when you get home, you may know one or two veterans but you don't know a community of 100 veterans so I thought it would be beneficial to everyone coming home if they knew some fellow veterans around town that can help out in any various kind of ways," he said. 

Miller said this is the first 'Veterans Day Ruck' they've held in Eugene, but he said it won't be the last.

He said he plans on holding one every year on Veterans Day.

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