BEND: Reading of Names | Deschutes Memorial Gardens Service

Reading of Names (U.S. Service Members Killed in Afghan-Iraqi Wars)

** UPDATE **

This year (the event’s 17th),
in addition to the live reading,
there will be a LIVE WEBCAST.

8:00am to 11:30pm PST

Troy Field
60 NW Kansas Ave
Bend OR, 97701

Program Details | Directions

The annual “We Are Remembering – Not Just a Number” event in Bend features a reading of the name, age and hometown of every U.S. service person killed in Afghanistan since 2001 and in Iraq since 2003. The reading now takes over 15 hours.
Beautiful hand-written placards with names of every one of the nearly 7,500 military service members killed to date in the wars in Afghanistan (since 2001) and Iraq (since 2003) transform Troy field into a powerful memorial. 2022 is the 15th year of the event.

Deschutes Memorial Gardens Service


Central Oregon Veterans Memorial
Deschutes Memorial Gardens
63875 N. Hwy 97
Bend OR, 97701

Program Details | Directions

Memorial Day in Bend Oregon

8 thoughts on “”

  1. Does anyone know when the Vietnam Veterans memorial in Deschutes Memorial Gardens was built and by whom as we are remodeling the memorial and will rededicate it on 3/29/24. If anyone knows please call me or email me Bill Gabriel 818-585-2111 or

    1. Hi Bill. Well, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that I searched online pretty hard right after I saw your post and came up empty. This is quite the mystery. Really curious to hear if you have had any luck so far in solving it, and if so, how. Also, how can one obtain more details on the re-dedication ceremony? Thanks for all you do!

      Kind regards,

      1. As a follow-up, the work cleaning and improving the Vietnam Memorial at Deschutes Memorial Garden is now complete, and the site was re-dedicated in a ceremony on March 29th, 2024. The memorial was originally built and dedicated in 1968. According to Vietnam vet Bob Cusick, one key player in the memorial’s construction was Ileana Dexter (1927-2007), the mother of Air Force Sgt. Bennie Dexter, one of sixteen MIAs from Bend, and the only one of those from the Vietnam War. Sgt Dexter was captured May 9, 1966 north of Saigon died following several escape attempts. When he left for Vietnam, Sgt. Dexter asked his mother to bring him home if he ever failed to make it back on his own. Tragically, she was never able to do that, but she was actively involved with the creation of the memorial at Deschutes Memorial Garden as well as a cenotaph placed in the cemetery in 1976 in honor of her son and all other MIAs. She would undoubtedly be very happy to know that the memorial has been restored to good order.

  2. Will the placing of the wreaths be done this year? We have been careful during COVID and didn’t place them.

    1. Hi Sandy. Thanks for your very good question. I spoke with a member of VFW Post 1643, the organizer of the annual event at Memorial Gardens. He indicates that the ceremony this year will again not include placement of wreaths. The reason is not due to COVID, but rather because of feedback the VFW has received from people attending the ceremony regarding the length of the ceremony. Apparently, people like how the ceremony is shorter by not placing wreaths. I was informed that it is possible that they will place wreaths again in the future if enough people want it. I hope this information is helpful and that you have a meaningful Memorial Day. Take care!

    2. I was hoping to see the wreaths now that Covid is not front and center.
      Some are so darn self-centered even when it comes to the fallen.
      They want to rush home and watch TV instead of being inconvenienced by the laying of the wreaths. Sad.

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