Milwaukie ceremony to honor 9/11 fallen, our first responders and our armed forces
The City of Milwaukie, Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and TriMet will host a Day of Remembrance ceremony on Friday, Sept. 11, at 5:30 p.m. in front of Milwaukie City Hall.
The ceremony will honor those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001 – what former Oregon Congresswoman Darlene Hooley calls “the day that changed everything” as well as all our first responders for the service they provide everyday in our communities.
Hooley will speak at Friday’s ceremony about what 9/11 meant to her. She was in Washington, D.C. on that tragic day. “I drove past the Pentagon, one side covered in flames,” Hooley has shared. “I can still smell the black, acrid smoke, and see the flames all over the walls. Seeing firsthand the immediate devastation of terrorists and knowing that Americans were dying in that building is something I will never forget.”
Recognizing our armed forces
The remembrance will also recognize our nation’s armed forces – those who serve today and the veterans who fought for our country’s freedom. Among many veterans in attendance will be members of the National Air Guard 142nd Fighter Wing, Oregon U.S. Army Joint Force Headquarters, Oregon National Guard, Grand Ronde Veterans’ Honor Guard, American Legion Post 180 and TriMet Employee Veterans Volunteers.
Joining those present to honor our veterans will be Judy Smith Huddleston who knows the meaning of “some gave all” too well. Her husband, Captain Hallie “Bud” Smith, never came home from Vietnam. They met as freshmen at Lewis & Clark College, assigned seats next to each other since their last names were both Smith. They became college sweethearts and married eight years later. Bud joined the Air Force, wanting to become a pilot. Judy recalls being devastated when he received his orders for Vietnam.
Judy last saw Bud in September 1967 before he headed overseas. On Jan. 6, 1968, he was on a reconnaissance mission when his jet went down on the side of a mountain range in South Vietnam. Pieces of the craft were later recovered. Remains of Bud’s navigator, Lt. Charles Bifolchi, were found in 1995 and identified through DNA in 1998. Bud’s remains have never been found. Judy, who became active in efforts on behalf of American POWs and MIAs, hopes that will change next month when a private archaeological mission returns to the hillside where Bifolchi’s remains were found. “I just want to bring him home,” said Judy.
The public is invited to join in the Day of Remembrance at Milwaukie City Hall, 10722 SE Main Street. Among the event sponsors are the Clackamas County Social Services and Behavior Health divisions. The organizations will have information booths onsite to provide information about veterans’ service.
Clackamas County Behavioral Health Division, Clackamas County Social Services Division, Clackamas County Veterans Services Office, City of Milwaukie, Wells Fargo, TriMet
National Air Guard 142nd Fighter Wing, Oregon US Army Joint Force Headquarters, The Grand Ronde Veterans’ Honor Guard, American Legion Post 180, Clackamas County Fire District #1, Clackamas Sheriff’s Department, Clackamas Pipes and Drums, Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Milwaukie Community Emergency Response Team, Clackamas County Tourism & Cultural Affairs, TriMet Employee Veteran Volunteers