CORVALLIS — The focus returned to veterans on Memorial Day in the Bitterroot, as the oldest parade in the valley marked a full century of honoring those who died in service to their country.
The Bitterroot's long connection of service to the country extends from the mid-1800s, where veterans of conflicts as far back as the Spanish American War and the Civil War are laid to rest in the Corvallis cemetery.
But Monday was especially significant, marking a full century of paying tribute to these departed heroes. The parade through the middle of Corvallis was originally organized to honor all veterans, but especially those who served in the just-completed First World War.
The Corvallis American Legion Post #91 and Auxiliary Unit #91 decided to stick that basic concept, foregoing all the extra entries of years past to focus specifically on the real reason for Memorial Day, with living veterans marching to remember fallen comrades.
There was one other historic tie with that first parade too, which happened as the country was hopeful it was seeing an end to the Spanish flu pandemic, mirroring some of the current hope of those who turned out today to continue the tradition.