Parents abroad can watch Oak Harbor graduation online | Whidbey News Briefs

Grads streamed around the world

Navy parents deployed around the world and relatives around the nation will be able to watch their loved ones in Oak Harbor receive their diplomas Monday. Graduation will be streamed live over the Internet, assuming all goes well technology-wise.

Last year was the first year Oak Harbor High School put the ceremonies on the Web live. Viewers from Japan and Afghanistan and throughout the U.S. clicked their way to front row seats at the big event. Wildcat TV will produce the video using four cameras, feeding the sound and images directly to the web. A link to the ceremony will be found Monday afternoon at

The first-ever graduation at Wildcat Memorial Stadium will be held Monday, June 16. Graduation at the spacious stadium means each student can have seven family members attend. When the ceremony was held in the gymnasium, tickets were limited to four per student.

The Class of 2008 will walk beginning at 7 p.m., with about 320 seniors stepping up to receive diplomas.

Scholarships for this class continue to roll in, with graduates topping the $4 million mark for scholarships offered by colleges, military academies, and organizations.

Baccalaureate will be held the previous Sunday, June 15, at 4 p.m. in the high school gym. Students Kayla Beers and Phil Garey will be keynote speakers, with Pastor David Lura providing the opening prayer, and his graduating son, Danny, giving the closing remarks.

City celebrates end of slavery

Juneteenth, also known as as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day will be celebrated today, June 14 at Oak Harbor’s Windjammer Park.

Juneteenth commemorates the thousands of slaves freed at the close of the Civil War. The holiday is based on events that occurred mainly in Texas but is now celebrated nationwide. It’s a chance for people to pay tribute to those who suffered with no recompense and to strengthen today’s bonds of unity.

The celebration takes its name from June 19, 1865, the day federal troops arrived in Galveston to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth is also a time for rejoicing and planning for the future. Across 26 states in the U.S., people celebrate with barbecues, picnics, family gatherings, games and guest speakers.

Oak Harbor Pastor Fannie Dean said to expect each of these today and all are welcome to join.

“Some people go all the way to Seattle for Juneteenth because they don’t know that we celebrate it here. That’s a really expensive trip,” she said.

Festivities begin at noon.

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