By Jean Schurman
Bob Reutlinger will be the grand marshal of the 93rd annual Corvallis Memorial Day parade. The World War II veteran, who plans on wearing his uniform, is very honored to have been selected. The parade will be held on Monday, May 27th at 10 a.m.
Reutlinger, a member of the Corvallis American Legion, moved to the valley in 1992. He was in the Army Air Corps during World War II and then was a battalion motor officer during the Korean War. During WWII, he was a flight instructor and spent most of his time training pilots in the Southwest. He said the training was one-on-one. Once the war ended, he remained in the reserves. He was in from 1942 to 1956.
After the Korean War, he attended college on the GI Bill and went to school at Booneville, Missouri and at Iowa State. He became a forester for the State of Oregon for nine years. He then moved to the Bureau of Indian Affairs where he worked as a forester for 31 years. During that time, he and his family moved 18 times during this time, moving from reservation to reservation throughout the Northwest. His wife, Barbara, was a native of Oregon and so they remained in the general area.
Reutlinger said they generally have a lot of company this time of year and they always go to the Corvallis parade. “Everyone agrees it is a great parade, so this is really an honor to lead it,” he said.
World War I veterans started the parade after they returned from Europe. The first parade consisted of veterans and a color guard. Modern day parades draw people from all over. Businesses, civic groups and individuals now make up the majority of the parade but the loudest clapping and cheers are always for the veterans. They are from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Some ride motorcycles, some walk and many ride on floats or in vehicles.
To enter the parade, register at www.corvallispost91.com. Registration will close at 9 a.m. so that judging can take place.
In addition to the parade, there are many activities throughout Corvallis throughout the day. Activities include a carnival, Highland Games, and a breakfast. The Wild Mare will once again be hosting a ‘Give Back’ barbecue from noon to 3 p.m. with proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior project.
At noon, Corvallis American Legion Post 91 will conduct a memorial at the Corvallis Cemetery. This year, markers are going to be placed on each row, indicating if a veteran is interred on the row. Flags are also being placed on all veterans’ graves. After the ceremony at the cemetery, the venue will shift to the Woodside Bridge where a wreath ceremony will be held.