National commander pays tribute to Gold Star Families at Oregon Memorial
During his official visit to the Department of Oregon, National Commander Daniel Seehafer spoke during the dedication of a Gold Star Families memorial at Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario, Ore. Jason Rickelman/The American Legion

National commander pays tribute to Gold Star Families at Oregon Memorial

National Commander Daniel J. Seehafer dedicated a memorial to Gold Star Families during a passionate address in Ontario, Oregon Sunday.

“A single tribute is not enough but The American Legion of Oregon is proud to lend its support to the Oregon State Federation of Garden Clubs in dedicating this beautiful memorial,” Seehafer said. “Gold Star families already made this country a better place through their own sacrifice.”

Seehafer then read the words of an 1864 letter that President Abraham wrote to Lydia Bixby, a Boston mother who was believed to have lost five sons in battle.

“I pray that our Heavenly father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement and leave you the only cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. Yours, very sincerely and respectfully, A. Lincoln.”

About 60 American Legion Family members, Gold Star relatives and residents of Ontario attended the dedication.

“I believe this event was important to not only convey to our local community that The American Legion will always stand and support our veterans and their families, but also let the world know the level of dedication and professionalism we bring to the table no matter the task,” said Department of Oregon 1st Vice Commander Dan Burks. “I don't believe there could have been a better candidate to spread either message with the dedication and the passion our national commander presents with each speech. It was our pleasure and our honor to host the national commander and have him speak at our event in Ontario that will continue to spread across the state.”

Seehafer pointed out that for Gold Star Families, every day is Memorial Day. “We continue to mourn their loss,” he said of America’s fallen veterans. “But most of all, we will continue to celebrate their lives forever. And we are forever grateful to the Gold Star Families who have sacrificed their greatest treasures, so that we could live free. Free. Thank you so much family. God bless you, God bless America and God bless our Gold Star Families.”