Sunday, March 27, 2011
From The Argus Observer
A Fitting Tribute
Nyssa hall dedicated Saturday to honor of fallen Ontario soldier
By Larry Meyer
Saturday, March 26, 2011 9:43 PM PDT
NYSSA — It was cloudy, rainy, windy and sun showed through the clouds a time or two, but the weather did not deter the large crowd that gathered to honor the late Sgt. Joshua Brennan and dedicate the hall in his honor, a facility in Nyssa that will be used to serve people in U.S. Military Service and veterans at midday Saturday. Brennan, from Ontario, was killed in action in Afghanistan.
Under a billowing parachute canopy, courtesy of Roger Smith and Roadrunner Crane Service, Brennan was remembered and honored by his parents, Janice Gates and Mike Brennan, and the several federal and state dignitaries who spoke or were present, but did not speak, at the event held in the parking lot next to the hall.
Formerly the Masonic Hall, the Josh Brennan Memorial Hall is now owned by Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida to compile packages for programs such as Treats for the Troops, Christmas for the Troops and Pencils for Peace, which provides educational items for children in the war zones. The meeting room is also available to community non-profit organizations and military families.
“I was humbled and proud,” Mike Brennan said, when he learned that his son, Joshua Brennan was being honored. “I think Josh would be humbled. Josh was always putting other people first, was a leader and always the point man,” he said. “I thank Janice and others for keeping Josh’s memory alive.”
“I was amazed beyond belief (when asked about naming the hall to honor her son),” Janice Gates said. “The community has continued to honor Josh.” After her comments, Gates sang “Heaven Was Needing A Hero.”
Congressman Greg Walden said, “It is an honor to honor Josh Brennan. “We need to honor his call to do more to support our troops,” Walden said.
One of the speakers was Former Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who as governor spoke during Josh Brennan’s memorial service in Fruitland, as he did for most, if not all, service people from Oregon killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Kulongoski said Brennan should always be remembered for how he died in war but also for how he lived.
“It matters because he was a man of character, a man of integrity . . . he made the right choice for the right reason, with the right spirit.” Kulongoski said.
Oregon Attorney General John Kroger said Oregonians have a duty to take care of its veterans.
Other speakers were Kathleen Cathey, field representative for U.S. Ron Wyden who read a statement from Wyden; State Sen. Ted Ferrioli, Maj. Gen. Raymond Rees, Oregon Adjutant General, Idaho State Sen. Monty Pearce and Martin Ornelas, Oregon Department of Veteran Affairs.
Others participating in the ceremony were state Rep. Cliff Bentz, Danny Cutler, who sang the National Anthem, Brenda Goertzen and Katalin Plummer who sang, and Tom Cook, retired Navy Chaplain, who gave the invocation and benediction.
The flag presentation was performed by a community color guard and the Patriot Guard Riders also participated. The City of Nyssa blocked off streets around the site for the event, with the police and reserve officers providing security, as well as participating in the ceremony.
From KIVI tv:
You can read more about Josh and the building dedication here, here and here.