With caps and medals, uniforms and memories, veterans and their families filled the Hermiston Conference Center on Thursday morning.

The veterans came for the meal, for the appreciation, for the moment of silence for those who would not see another Veterans Day.

At least two — Cecil Goodwin and Fred Atkins — fit into uniforms more than a half-century old. Some came for the fellowship, and others, such as Marine veteran Violet Slojkowski, came to show patriotism.

“People don’t pay attention anymore. They’re not as patriotic as they used to be,” Slojkowski said. “I wanted to come to this service, because I care.”

Presented by Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Wilcox Furniture, Girl Scouts of America, Hermiston Chamber of Commerce and Sharon’s Sweet Treats, more than 155 people attended the first Veterans Day breakfast, an event dedicated to “honoring those who’ve served our country.”

After the presentation of the colors and the playing of taps, Dr. Dean Hackett, a veteran, gave the benediction and served as guest speaker.

“It is such an honor to be here with all you veterans,” he said. “We must never forget the men and women who have made our nation free. … We’re here this morning to honor our true heroes and express our thankfulness to our veterans.”

Also during the breakfast, members of local Girl Scout Troop 51444 cleared plates and personally thanked veterans.

Hermiston Mayor Bob Severson read a proclamation declaring Nov. 11 as Veterans Day for the city and the week of Nov. 8-12 as “Veterans Recognition Week.”

“Thank you for all the sacrifices you’ve made,” Severson said. “God bless you.”


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