Eugene holds ceremony to remember Major Thomas Egan

Major Thomas Egan with his dog Ralph who he brought from Korea on December 18th, 2017. at Whiteaker Neighborhood in Eugene, Ore. (Clara Benitez/SBG)

EUGENE, Ore.- This year marks nine-years since Major Thomas Egan froze to death in the Whiteaker neighborhood in Eugene.

A ceremony was held in remembrance of Egan, one that was emotional and heartfelt for those in the crowd. The annual ceremony was a reminder of the impacts Egan had on the Eugene community.

Major Thomas Egan was the catalyst for the Egan warming centers.

Friends and colleagues came together on Monday to 1st Avenue and Blair Street, where Egan died 9 years ago.

Members from the community gathered to play music, say prayers and share personal stories about Egan, and a wreath was laid in commemoration of Egan at the end of the ceremony.

Kate Saunders, a close friend of Egan, tells us he lived to protect people and still does it today.

“He dedicated his life to the army and training and trying to keep people safe," said Saunders. "And the fact that even after he died, he managed to save a lot more people than when he was alive."

Among those honoring Egan was Lane County commissioner Pat Farr, who served in the US Army and Oregon National Guard with Major Egan.

“You know, there is only one thing I ever called him in public. There was only one thing I was allowed to call him and that was Sir," said Farr. "Today I think about my commanding officer Tom Egan, and I think about him being Sir,” said Farr.

One of many lessons for a community in helping the homeless and preventing tragedies in the future.

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