Our History: We Are Remembering – Not Just A Number

Bend’s Annual Memorial Day Reading 2008 – present

2008 marked the 5th anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq, and in Iraq, the US was nearing a military death count of 4000. A group of Bend citizens felt that the loss could not be measured by these two numbers, 5 and 4000. The loss could not be measured in numbers, period; for those lost were our family members, fathers, sisters, mothers, uncles, grandparents, brothers, daughters, in-laws, sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, aunts, husbands, wives, partners, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. They were our friends, neighbors and co-workers; they taught in our schools, pumped our gas, acted in our community theatres, and owned small businesses. They were the high school football star, member of the FFA, and the debate team. They were coaches, athletes, doctors, journalists, entrepreneurs, volunteers in their community. They loved: fishing, game night with friends, fancy dinners out and backyard BBQs, good movies, good books, baseball, hockey, S P O R T S, sleeping in the sun and sleeping during a rainstorm, their church, their “team”, live concerts and singing OUT LOUD alone in their car, riding motorcycles, getting to the next level on their favorite video game, kissing and hugging, being kissed and hugged, laughing, smiling broadly, their dog…. and their cat. So diverse, they share only 2 things in common: each was gone too soon, and each was loved beyond measure by at least one person. Most left behind a legion that will miss them every day, always.

Though their deeds may have been heroic, they were not “heroes”. They were us, they were just like us. And we are less for their absence. On Memorial Day we come together to remember them, we give voice to their name to honor their memory.

We invite you to join with us this Memorial Day, 8:00 a.m. PST. If you are able, come to Troy Field in Bend, OR and listen. We will cover the reading from start until completion. This year the reading will take 14 hours.

Thank you and please share this with your friends, family, and network.

Sincerely,

The Volunteers of We Are Remembering – Not Just A Number
A continuous reading of the name, age and hometown of every US serviceperson
killed in Afghanistan since 2001 and in Iraq since 2003.

Annual Memorial Day Reading Bend, OR