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'Memorial Day has become ... our reality check'

World War II veterans Donald Wright, 96, left, and Oren Lee Peters, 95, share a laugh as they tell stories after the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Wright was one of five brothers serving in the war during the 1940s. He was in the US Army and fought in the Pacific Theater in the battle at Guadalcanal. He had an older brother who was killed by enemy fire 11 days after Wright arrived on the island. Wright also had another brother who served with him at Guadalcanal. He retired from the Army with the rank of major. Peters retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army. He enlisted into the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, Oklahoma U. S. Army National Guard, in January 1939, and was a private first class when, in September 1940, the 45th was activated. During World War II, he served 511 days in combat in the European Theater, where he participated in eight major campaigns, including Sicily, and four amphibious operations. As a private first class he was awarded the Silver Star; as a staff sergeant was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. In addition he received the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was discharged 30 June 1945. After the war, he worked with the 45th in a different capacity and retired after a 42 year career with the national guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

World War II veterans Donald Wright, 96, left, and Oren Lee Peters, 95, share a laugh as they tell stories after the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Wright was one of five brothers serving in the war during the 1940s. He was in the US Army and fought in the Pacific Theater in the battle at Guadalcanal. He had an older brother who was killed by enemy fire 11 days after Wright arrived on the island. Wright also had another brother who served with him at Guadalcanal. He retired from the Army with the rank of major. Peters retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army. He enlisted into the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, Oklahoma U. S. Army National Guard, in January 1939, and was a private first class when, in September 1940, the 45th was activated. During World War II, he served 511 days in combat in the European Theater, where he participated in eight major campaigns, including Sicily, and four amphibious operations. As a private first class he was awarded the Silver Star; as a staff sergeant was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. In addition he received the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was discharged 30 June 1945. After the war, he worked with the 45th in a different capacity and retired after a 42 year career with the national guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

The rain clouds broke just in time Monday morning for the Memorial Day ceremony at the 45th Infantry Museum.

The threat of getting wet didn't stop more than 100 people who turned out for the brief, bombastic celebration of fallen veterans.

The colors were posted by the governor's guard sharply at 10 a.m., and the tunes of the 145th Army Band kept the ceremony moving swiftly.

The keynote speaker at the event was Brig. Gen. David Burgy. Burgy is the chief of staff, Joint Force Headquarters of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. Burgy is directly responsible to the adjutant general for the combat readiness and operational effectiveness of all units of the Oklahoma Air National Guard.

He has seen combat in Turkey, Qatar and Iraq.

"I love holidays. It's always a choice for me between this Memorial Day and the 4th of July. To come here and memorialize those who have come before us and made the ultimate sacrifice is awesome," Burgy said.

"But I'm always reminded of what it must have been like for our forefathers, just to pen those words on the Declaration, sign it, send it to the king committing treason and starting all of this. And since they've done that, we've had to defend it and defend it and defend it. And we will continue to defend it, won't we?" Burgy asked. He was answered with a a round of applause. 

Burgy also shared the history of the holiday, which was first known as Decoration Day and officially observed for the first time in May 1868. 

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"Three years after the Civil War ended, Maj. Gen. John Logan, the head of a veterans organization called the Grand Army of the Republic designated May 30 as the day to cherish the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes," Burgy said.

"Memorial Day has become and should always be our reality check that the American way of life, that we all enjoy and even take for granted, didn't just happen. It came — and still comes — at a tremendous price," he said.

Oren Lee Peters attended the memorial event, as he has frequently done since retiring from the Army as a lieutenant colonel. He was also a veteran of the 45th Infantry Division during World War II.

"The division had more combat days than any other unit during World War II," Peters said.

Peters was a veteran not only of World War II, of which he only saw three other surviving veterans at the ceremony, but also the Korean War, he said.

"I went to work for the military department here. Stayed with them and retired in '81, so I've spent quite a bit of time around them. But it's days like this that I think back at the young men that I served with that didn't come back," he said.

Peters said he helped build the museum before his retirement.

"This is an important day. It means a lot to me," Peters, 95, said. "I've got to be here and try to hold up."

Related Photos
<p>Brothers Zandry Redinger, 4, and Toby, 6, wear matching red, white and blue shirts to the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. The boys' father, Cory Redinger, Oklahoma City, is in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman</p>

Brothers Zandry Redinger, 4, and Toby, 6, wear matching red, white and blue shirts to the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. The boys' father, Cory Redinger, Oklahoma City, is in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-029597d6f2575412226308512b938bcc.jpg" alt="Photo - Brothers Zandry Redinger, 4, and Toby, 6, wear matching red, white and blue shirts to the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. The boys' father, Cory Redinger, Oklahoma City, is in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title=" Brothers Zandry Redinger, 4, and Toby, 6, wear matching red, white and blue shirts to the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. The boys' father, Cory Redinger, Oklahoma City, is in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption> Brothers Zandry Redinger, 4, and Toby, 6, wear matching red, white and blue shirts to the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. The boys' father, Cory Redinger, Oklahoma City, is in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-917019d80f010e2aca3830206a8200dd.jpg" alt="Photo - Burton Johnson, salutes as the American flag passes in front of him during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Johnson, 96, lives in Oklahoma City and is a US Army veteran. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title=" Burton Johnson, salutes as the American flag passes in front of him during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Johnson, 96, lives in Oklahoma City and is a US Army veteran. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption> Burton Johnson, salutes as the American flag passes in front of him during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Johnson, 96, lives in Oklahoma City and is a US Army veteran. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d6d7dea3ae26bda7ab0f004280dd867b.jpg" alt="Photo - Preston Willoughby, an executive with the 45th Infantry Division Association, and a Korean War veteran, is escorted by members of the Governor's Honor Guard to place this wreath at the base of the American flag during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title=" Preston Willoughby, an executive with the 45th Infantry Division Association, and a Korean War veteran, is escorted by members of the Governor's Honor Guard to place this wreath at the base of the American flag during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption> Preston Willoughby, an executive with the 45th Infantry Division Association, and a Korean War veteran, is escorted by members of the Governor's Honor Guard to place this wreath at the base of the American flag during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1a5a7a62927ae82b0457785afc91fadc.jpg" alt="Photo - Capt. Josh Byrd, chaplain with the 45th Infantry Brigade, salutes the American flag flying at half-staff as the colors are retired at the end of the program during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Byrd delivered the invocation and the benediction. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title=" Capt. Josh Byrd, chaplain with the 45th Infantry Brigade, salutes the American flag flying at half-staff as the colors are retired at the end of the program during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Byrd delivered the invocation and the benediction. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption> Capt. Josh Byrd, chaplain with the 45th Infantry Brigade, salutes the American flag flying at half-staff as the colors are retired at the end of the program during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Byrd delivered the invocation and the benediction. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-82b6dd381fa6d75b6aeccbad6d8e8f68.jpg" alt="Photo - A member of the Governor's Honor Guard renders a slow and respectful salute before retrieving the American flag and retiring the colors at the end of the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="A member of the Governor's Honor Guard renders a slow and respectful salute before retrieving the American flag and retiring the colors at the end of the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>A member of the Governor's Honor Guard renders a slow and respectful salute before retrieving the American flag and retiring the colors at the end of the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-426a65e7028b9faa326f6b8a30e1f2ec.jpg" alt="Photo - Brig. Gen. David Burgy, Chief of Staff, Joint Force Headquarters, Oklahoma Air National Guard, delivers remarks during his keynote address. He is directly responsible to the Adjutant General for the combat readiness and operational effectiveness of all units of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. He spoke to a crowd of about 350 people during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Brig. Gen. David Burgy, Chief of Staff, Joint Force Headquarters, Oklahoma Air National Guard, delivers remarks during his keynote address. He is directly responsible to the Adjutant General for the combat readiness and operational effectiveness of all units of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. He spoke to a crowd of about 350 people during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Brig. Gen. David Burgy, Chief of Staff, Joint Force Headquarters, Oklahoma Air National Guard, delivers remarks during his keynote address. He is directly responsible to the Adjutant General for the combat readiness and operational effectiveness of all units of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. He spoke to a crowd of about 350 people during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1a5a7a62927ae82b0457785afc91fadc.jpg" alt="Photo - Capt. Josh Byrd, chaplain with the 45th Infantry Brigade, salutes the American flag flying at half-staff as the colors are retired at the end of the program during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Byrd delivered the invocation and the benediction. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Capt. Josh Byrd, chaplain with the 45th Infantry Brigade, salutes the American flag flying at half-staff as the colors are retired at the end of the program during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Byrd delivered the invocation and the benediction. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Capt. Josh Byrd, chaplain with the 45th Infantry Brigade, salutes the American flag flying at half-staff as the colors are retired at the end of the program during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Byrd delivered the invocation and the benediction. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d6d7dea3ae26bda7ab0f004280dd867b.jpg" alt="Photo - Preston Willoughby, an executive with the 45th Infantry Division Association, and a Korean War veteran, is escorted by members of the Governor's Honor Guard to place this wreath at the base of the American flag during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Preston Willoughby, an executive with the 45th Infantry Division Association, and a Korean War veteran, is escorted by members of the Governor's Honor Guard to place this wreath at the base of the American flag during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Preston Willoughby, an executive with the 45th Infantry Division Association, and a Korean War veteran, is escorted by members of the Governor's Honor Guard to place this wreath at the base of the American flag during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0184ec85e32601cd4dd0603b1517696b.jpg" alt="Photo - Soldiers in the South Vietnam military honor guard stand at parade rest during the ceremony at the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Soldiers in the South Vietnam military honor guard stand at parade rest during the ceremony at the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Soldiers in the South Vietnam military honor guard stand at parade rest during the ceremony at the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-59355878cc93c2242b573e699573fd39.jpg" alt="Photo - The American flag waves while b eing flown at half staff during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="The American flag waves while b eing flown at half staff during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>The American flag waves while b eing flown at half staff during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-be7d9ee934aa5579085ff0b204388638.jpg" alt="Photo - World War II veterans Donald Wright, 96, left, and Oren Lee Peters, 95, share a laugh as they tell stories after the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Wright was one of five brothers serving in the war during the 1940s. He was in the US Army and fought in the Pacific Theater in the battle at Guadalcanal. He had an older brother who was killed by enemy fire 11 days after Wright arrived on the island. Wright also had another brother who served with him at Guadalcanal. He retired from the Army with the rank of major. Peters retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army. He enlisted into the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, Oklahoma U. S. Army National Guard, in January 1939, and was a private first class when, in September 1940, the 45th was activated. During World War II, he served 511 days in combat in the European Theater, where he participated in eight major campaigns, including Sicily, and four amphibious operations. As a private first class he was awarded the Silver Star; as a staff sergeant was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. In addition he received the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was discharged 30 June 1945. After the war, he worked with the 45th in a different capacity and retired after a 42 year career with the national guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="World War II veterans Donald Wright, 96, left, and Oren Lee Peters, 95, share a laugh as they tell stories after the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Wright was one of five brothers serving in the war during the 1940s. He was in the US Army and fought in the Pacific Theater in the battle at Guadalcanal. He had an older brother who was killed by enemy fire 11 days after Wright arrived on the island. Wright also had another brother who served with him at Guadalcanal. He retired from the Army with the rank of major. Peters retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army. He enlisted into the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, Oklahoma U. S. Army National Guard, in January 1939, and was a private first class when, in September 1940, the 45th was activated. During World War II, he served 511 days in combat in the European Theater, where he participated in eight major campaigns, including Sicily, and four amphibious operations. As a private first class he was awarded the Silver Star; as a staff sergeant was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. In addition he received the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was discharged 30 June 1945. After the war, he worked with the 45th in a different capacity and retired after a 42 year career with the national guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>World War II veterans Donald Wright, 96, left, and Oren Lee Peters, 95, share a laugh as they tell stories after the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Wright was one of five brothers serving in the war during the 1940s. He was in the US Army and fought in the Pacific Theater in the battle at Guadalcanal. He had an older brother who was killed by enemy fire 11 days after Wright arrived on the island. Wright also had another brother who served with him at Guadalcanal. He retired from the Army with the rank of major. Peters retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army. He enlisted into the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, Oklahoma U. S. Army National Guard, in January 1939, and was a private first class when, in September 1940, the 45th was activated. During World War II, he served 511 days in combat in the European Theater, where he participated in eight major campaigns, including Sicily, and four amphibious operations. As a private first class he was awarded the Silver Star; as a staff sergeant was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. In addition he received the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was discharged 30 June 1945. After the war, he worked with the 45th in a different capacity and retired after a 42 year career with the national guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-bcb25b0f5867b45ec0f89821b8351c6d.jpg" alt="Photo - World War II veterans Donald Wright, 96, left, and Oren Lee Peters, 95, share a laugh as they tell stories after the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Wright was one of five brothers serving in the war during the 1940s. He was in the US Army and fought in the Pacific Theater in the battle at Guadalcanal. He had an older brother who was killed by enemy fire 11 days after Wright arrived on the island. Wright also had another brother who served with him at Guadalcanal. He retired from the Army with the rank of major. Peters retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army. He enlisted into the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, Oklahoma U. S. Army National Guard, in January 1939, and was a private first class when, in September 1940, the 45th was activated. During World War II, he served 511 days in combat in the European Theater, where he participated in eight major campaigns, including Sicily, and four amphibious operations. As a private first class he was awarded the Silver Star; as a staff sergeant was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. In addition he received the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was discharged 30 June 1945. After the war, he worked with the 45th in a different capacity and retired after a 42 year career with the national guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="World War II veterans Donald Wright, 96, left, and Oren Lee Peters, 95, share a laugh as they tell stories after the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Wright was one of five brothers serving in the war during the 1940s. He was in the US Army and fought in the Pacific Theater in the battle at Guadalcanal. He had an older brother who was killed by enemy fire 11 days after Wright arrived on the island. Wright also had another brother who served with him at Guadalcanal. He retired from the Army with the rank of major. Peters retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army. He enlisted into the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, Oklahoma U. S. Army National Guard, in January 1939, and was a private first class when, in September 1940, the 45th was activated. During World War II, he served 511 days in combat in the European Theater, where he participated in eight major campaigns, including Sicily, and four amphibious operations. As a private first class he was awarded the Silver Star; as a staff sergeant was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. In addition he received the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was discharged 30 June 1945. After the war, he worked with the 45th in a different capacity and retired after a 42 year career with the national guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>World War II veterans Donald Wright, 96, left, and Oren Lee Peters, 95, share a laugh as they tell stories after the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Wright was one of five brothers serving in the war during the 1940s. He was in the US Army and fought in the Pacific Theater in the battle at Guadalcanal. He had an older brother who was killed by enemy fire 11 days after Wright arrived on the island. Wright also had another brother who served with him at Guadalcanal. He retired from the Army with the rank of major. Peters retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army. He enlisted into the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, Oklahoma U. S. Army National Guard, in January 1939, and was a private first class when, in September 1940, the 45th was activated. During World War II, he served 511 days in combat in the European Theater, where he participated in eight major campaigns, including Sicily, and four amphibious operations. As a private first class he was awarded the Silver Star; as a staff sergeant was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. In addition he received the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was discharged 30 June 1945. After the war, he worked with the 45th in a different capacity and retired after a 42 year career with the national guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ef29faa500c5440e9d5eb404039d2aa9.jpg" alt="Photo - Veterans salute as the national anthem is played during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Veterans salute as the national anthem is played during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Veterans salute as the national anthem is played during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2a7b738e4c54f799094bac6d2b751a1b.jpg" alt="Photo - Brothers Zandry Redinger, 4, and Toby, 6, wear matching red, white and blue shirts to the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. The boys' father, Cory Redinger, Oklahoma City, is in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Brothers Zandry Redinger, 4, and Toby, 6, wear matching red, white and blue shirts to the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. The boys' father, Cory Redinger, Oklahoma City, is in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Brothers Zandry Redinger, 4, and Toby, 6, wear matching red, white and blue shirts to the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. The boys' father, Cory Redinger, Oklahoma City, is in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d2176ac4c06b18bd3748ab63f78e27a9.jpg" alt="Photo - 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-81d3fbf98544219eabbca4868b728ed3.jpg" alt="Photo - Dennis Cheary and Brianna Carter dressed their one year-old daughter, Nayvie May, in a navy outfit and brought her to the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. They traveled from their home in Henryetta to attend the program. Cheary said Nayvie is named after her uncle Carroll Carter, in tribute to his service in the US Navy. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Dennis Cheary and Brianna Carter dressed their one year-old daughter, Nayvie May, in a navy outfit and brought her to the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. They traveled from their home in Henryetta to attend the program. Cheary said Nayvie is named after her uncle Carroll Carter, in tribute to his service in the US Navy. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Dennis Cheary and Brianna Carter dressed their one year-old daughter, Nayvie May, in a navy outfit and brought her to the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. They traveled from their home in Henryetta to attend the program. Cheary said Nayvie is named after her uncle Carroll Carter, in tribute to his service in the US Navy. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-381530994368a67d521aa025d2390e19.jpg" alt="Photo - The Sons of the American Revolution color guard carry flags as they march in the massing of the colors at the beginning of the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="The Sons of the American Revolution color guard carry flags as they march in the massing of the colors at the beginning of the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>The Sons of the American Revolution color guard carry flags as they march in the massing of the colors at the beginning of the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d6f18dc5a2a25e15367321891574c314.jpg" alt="Photo - 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5e40b5bb00725c28504ddef28285c6eb.jpg" alt="Photo - A man in the crowd shades his head with an umbrella during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="A man in the crowd shades his head with an umbrella during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>A man in the crowd shades his head with an umbrella during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-da084f243df24e0e89940af2c02439f9.jpg" alt="Photo - 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-029597d6f2575412226308512b938bcc.jpg" alt="Photo - Brothers Zandry Redinger, 4, and Toby, 6, wear matching red, white and blue shirts to the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. The boys' father, Cory Redinger, Oklahoma City, is in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Brothers Zandry Redinger, 4, and Toby, 6, wear matching red, white and blue shirts to the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. The boys' father, Cory Redinger, Oklahoma City, is in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Brothers Zandry Redinger, 4, and Toby, 6, wear matching red, white and blue shirts to the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. The boys' father, Cory Redinger, Oklahoma City, is in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c5b3b883bdf264c73b4bd44a1e133f83.jpg" alt="Photo - Governor's Honor Guard posts the colors during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Governor's Honor Guard posts the colors during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Governor's Honor Guard posts the colors during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d8f06f0f1f871c1dd129586d55d5b400.jpg" alt="Photo - A soldier in the South Vietnam military honor guard stands at parade rest during the ceremony at the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="A soldier in the South Vietnam military honor guard stands at parade rest during the ceremony at the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>A soldier in the South Vietnam military honor guard stands at parade rest during the ceremony at the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d6b29a9ee70bb891c1eb3e59fe3cb778.jpg" alt="Photo - Preston Willoughby, an executive with the 45th Infantry Division Association, and a Korean War veteran, stands beside Brig. Gen. David Burgy, Chief of Staff, Joint Force Headquarters, Oklahoma Air National Guard. bow their heads during the benediction at the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Preston Willoughby, an executive with the 45th Infantry Division Association, and a Korean War veteran, stands beside Brig. Gen. David Burgy, Chief of Staff, Joint Force Headquarters, Oklahoma Air National Guard. bow their heads during the benediction at the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Preston Willoughby, an executive with the 45th Infantry Division Association, and a Korean War veteran, stands beside Brig. Gen. David Burgy, Chief of Staff, Joint Force Headquarters, Oklahoma Air National Guard. bow their heads during the benediction at the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-917019d80f010e2aca3830206a8200dd.jpg" alt="Photo - Burton Johnson, salutes as the American flag passes in front of him during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Johnson, 96, lives in Oklahoma City and is a US Army veteran. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Burton Johnson, salutes as the American flag passes in front of him during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Johnson, 96, lives in Oklahoma City and is a US Army veteran. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Burton Johnson, salutes as the American flag passes in front of him during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Johnson, 96, lives in Oklahoma City and is a US Army veteran. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-42f2f9ba5747b27e361bc7737fcf055e.jpg" alt="Photo - Brig. Gen. David Burgy, Chief of Staff, Joint Force Headquarters, Oklahoma Air National Guard, delivers remarks during his keynote address. He is directly responsible to the Adjutant General for the combat readiness and operational effectiveness of all units of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. He spoke to a crowd of about 350 people during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Brig. Gen. David Burgy, Chief of Staff, Joint Force Headquarters, Oklahoma Air National Guard, delivers remarks during his keynote address. He is directly responsible to the Adjutant General for the combat readiness and operational effectiveness of all units of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. He spoke to a crowd of about 350 people during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Brig. Gen. David Burgy, Chief of Staff, Joint Force Headquarters, Oklahoma Air National Guard, delivers remarks during his keynote address. He is directly responsible to the Adjutant General for the combat readiness and operational effectiveness of all units of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. He spoke to a crowd of about 350 people during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-68a438bd1c25e6cf18805ec8bac3b85f.jpg" alt="Photo - Preston Willoughby, an executive with the 45th Infantry Division Association, and a Korean War veteran, is escorted by members of the Governor's Honor Guard to place this wreath at the base of the American flag during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="Preston Willoughby, an executive with the 45th Infantry Division Association, and a Korean War veteran, is escorted by members of the Governor's Honor Guard to place this wreath at the base of the American flag during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>Preston Willoughby, an executive with the 45th Infantry Division Association, and a Korean War veteran, is escorted by members of the Governor's Honor Guard to place this wreath at the base of the American flag during the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1d5e46e8328344ef863a6ca9e9fe1db6.jpg" alt="Photo - World War II veteran Donald Wright, 96, left, reaches to touch the star on the shoulder of keynote speaker Brig. Gen. David Burgy, Chief of Staff, Joint Force Headquarters, Oklahoma Air National Guard, after the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Burgy laughs when Wright, who has diminished vision, put his hand on the uniform epaulette to feel the star after he asked Burgy what his rank is as the two men visited after the ceremony. Wright was one of five brothers serving in the war during the 1940s. He was in the US Army and fought in the Pacific Theater in the battle at Guadalcanal. He had an older brother who was killed by enemy fire 11 days after Wright arrived on the island. Wright also had another brother who served with him at Guadalcanal. He retired from the Army with the rank of major. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title="World War II veteran Donald Wright, 96, left, reaches to touch the star on the shoulder of keynote speaker Brig. Gen. David Burgy, Chief of Staff, Joint Force Headquarters, Oklahoma Air National Guard, after the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Burgy laughs when Wright, who has diminished vision, put his hand on the uniform epaulette to feel the star after he asked Burgy what his rank is as the two men visited after the ceremony. Wright was one of five brothers serving in the war during the 1940s. He was in the US Army and fought in the Pacific Theater in the battle at Guadalcanal. He had an older brother who was killed by enemy fire 11 days after Wright arrived on the island. Wright also had another brother who served with him at Guadalcanal. He retired from the Army with the rank of major. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption>World War II veteran Donald Wright, 96, left, reaches to touch the star on the shoulder of keynote speaker Brig. Gen. David Burgy, Chief of Staff, Joint Force Headquarters, Oklahoma Air National Guard, after the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Burgy laughs when Wright, who has diminished vision, put his hand on the uniform epaulette to feel the star after he asked Burgy what his rank is as the two men visited after the ceremony. Wright was one of five brothers serving in the war during the 1940s. He was in the US Army and fought in the Pacific Theater in the battle at Guadalcanal. He had an older brother who was killed by enemy fire 11 days after Wright arrived on the island. Wright also had another brother who served with him at Guadalcanal. He retired from the Army with the rank of major. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-be7d9ee934aa5579085ff0b204388638.jpg" alt="Photo - World War II veterans Donald Wright, 96, left, and Oren Lee Peters, 95, share a laugh as they tell stories after the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Wright was one of five brothers serving in the war during the 1940s. He was in the US Army and fought in the Pacific Theater in the battle at Guadalcanal. He had an older brother who was killed by enemy fire 11 days after Wright arrived on the island. Wright also had another brother who served with him at Guadalcanal. He retired from the Army with the rank of major. Peters retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army. He enlisted into the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, Oklahoma U. S. Army National Guard, in January 1939, and was a private first class when, in September 1940, the 45th was activated. During World War II, he served 511 days in combat in the European Theater, where he participated in eight major campaigns, including Sicily, and four amphibious operations. As a private first class he was awarded the Silver Star; as a staff sergeant was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. In addition he received the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was discharged 30 June 1945. After the war, he worked with the 45th in a different capacity and retired after a 42 year career with the national guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman " title=" World War II veterans Donald Wright, 96, left, and Oren Lee Peters, 95, share a laugh as they tell stories after the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Wright was one of five brothers serving in the war during the 1940s. He was in the US Army and fought in the Pacific Theater in the battle at Guadalcanal. He had an older brother who was killed by enemy fire 11 days after Wright arrived on the island. Wright also had another brother who served with him at Guadalcanal. He retired from the Army with the rank of major. Peters retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army. He enlisted into the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, Oklahoma U. S. Army National Guard, in January 1939, and was a private first class when, in September 1940, the 45th was activated. During World War II, he served 511 days in combat in the European Theater, where he participated in eight major campaigns, including Sicily, and four amphibious operations. As a private first class he was awarded the Silver Star; as a staff sergeant was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. In addition he received the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was discharged 30 June 1945. After the war, he worked with the 45th in a different capacity and retired after a 42 year career with the national guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman "><figcaption> World War II veterans Donald Wright, 96, left, and Oren Lee Peters, 95, share a laugh as they tell stories after the 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 30, 2016. Wright was one of five brothers serving in the war during the 1940s. He was in the US Army and fought in the Pacific Theater in the battle at Guadalcanal. He had an older brother who was killed by enemy fire 11 days after Wright arrived on the island. Wright also had another brother who served with him at Guadalcanal. He retired from the Army with the rank of major. Peters retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army. He enlisted into the 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, Oklahoma U. S. Army National Guard, in January 1939, and was a private first class when, in September 1940, the 45th was activated. During World War II, he served 511 days in combat in the European Theater, where he participated in eight major campaigns, including Sicily, and four amphibious operations. As a private first class he was awarded the Silver Star; as a staff sergeant was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. In addition he received the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was discharged 30 June 1945. After the war, he worked with the 45th in a different capacity and retired after a 42 year career with the national guard. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman </figcaption></figure>
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