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The Rose Festival Marches into Memorial Day

All-American spirits lift on Monday, May 31 with the second Portland Rose Festival Memorial Day Commemoration, welcoming home the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Oregon Army National Guard. The Rose Festival’s newest parade, The Danner Memorial Day March, leads the festivities at 1:30 p.m. with a commemoration ceremony at 2:15 p.m. that includes the commander of the 41st Brigade, Colonel Dan Hokanson. Oregon Guard Jets flying low over the river as the traditional 21-gun salute echoes from bank to bank will follow a National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 p.m.

Memorial Day Weekend at the Waterfront Village welcomes home the approximately 3,400 troops of the 41st. that have been deployed to Iraq since May 2009 and began returning to Oregon in April and May 2010, the longest deployment of Oregon National Guard troops since World War II. Waterfront Village is proud to offer free admission all weekend for veterans, reservist, and active military and their legal dependents with valid military ID.

New this year, the Oregon Field of Honor featuring a magnificent display of 1,000 American flags, fills the park’s south end bowl area. Organizers also anticipate a record number of presentations of the Honorable Service Medal to veterans, a free medal available to every veteran within the State of Oregon who has served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America with an honorable discharge.

Visitors are encouraged to join in the activities inside the Waterfront Village including the Danner Tribute Wall where they can bring their pictures, stories, fond memories and best wishes to post! They can bring their old cell phones, too. The Rose Festival will be an official drop off spot for Cell Phones for Soldiers, a program that turns old phones into a calling cards, so our deployed military from Oregon and SW Washington can call their loved ones at home.

Monday following the commemoration, Singer/Songwriter Christina Duane will be performing her new release, “City of Roses” at a 4:00 p.m. Memorial Day Concert. Christina’s latest release, “Oh Oregon, Songs of Oregon” is being played nationwide, and its title track, “Oh Oregon,” was written in honor of Oregon’s 150th birthday. Debuting in this Memorial Day Celebration, Christina will unveil her new song, “Legacy” about remembrance.

Waterfront Village Rose Spirit three week celebration continues with Barbecue & Brew (June 2 – June 6) and Circus City featuring Clown Town (June 9 – June 13). Waterfront Village is closed June 1 and June 7 and 8. Fans can purchase a Rose Festival souvenir pin at participating Fred Meyer Stores and wear it to get into the Waterfront Village free anytime. Purchase rides and admission tickets at this website.