After taking a year off due to the pandemic, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs held a Veterans Day celebration in Salem Wednesday.

More than 100 people gathered across the street from the Oregon Capitol. Vietnam veteran Michael Whalen sang the national anthem and the Grande Ronde Color Guard posted the colors.

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Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs director Kelly Fitzpatrick, herself a retired Army officer, thanked all veterans for their service.

“Let us resolve never to stop trying to build that better world for which all of our veterans have sacrificed,” she said. “Let us all draw strength from their long legacy of service.”

People sit outside in chairs on a gray day facing the Oregon State Capitol building for an event.

The Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs held a Veterans Day celebration across the street from the Capitol building in Salem on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021.

Chris M Lehman / KLCC

After the ceremony, attendees were given the chance to tour the site of a proposed Vietnam War Memorial on the Capitol grounds.

Speakers at the ceremony included U.S. Rep. Kurt Schader, D-Canby, as well as two Oregon state lawmakers: Sen. James Manning, D-Eugene, and Rep. Paul Evans, D-Monmouth. Both Manning and Evans are veterans.

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