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Island observes Memorial Day with parade, ceremonies
As mayor of a military town such as Oak Harbor, Scott Dudley said he is honored to speak at Monday’s Memorial Day services in two Whidbey Island communities.
The holiday is dear to him because of where he lives and the nearly four years spent in his early adult life in military service before a medical discharge.
“I think being in a military community, the least we can do is to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice,” Dudley said.
“This is the first time I’ve actually spoke at the service. I’ve attended quite a few over the years. I look forward to it.”
The Memorial Day service will be at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Oak Harbor at 10 a.m., followed by another at historic Sunnyside Cemetery near Coupeville at 11:30.
Dudley will be the guest speaker at both of those services.
The ceremonies will be hosted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7392, American Legion Post 129 and the Fleet Reserve.
A potluck will be held at VFW Post 7392 on Goldie Road in Oak Harbor after the services and is open to the public, post commander Keith Wooldridge said.
Memorial Day also will be a day to learn more about island history and its pioneers.
Central Whidbey Island historian and pioneer descendant Roger Sherman will lead a guided tour of Sunnyside Cemetery at 1 p.m.
Sherman will share how various settlers played a role in the development of Whidbey Island.
Those interested in the hour-long tour should meet at the blockhouse, Sherman said. The cost is $5 with proceeds going to the Island County Historical Society.
Sunnyside Cemetery is located on the north ridge of Ebey’s Prairie.
Special places to observe on North Whidbey include Veterans Memorial Park near the Maui Gate entrance of the Seaplane Base at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.
For those who have access to the main base, Prowler Memorial Park is located along Charles Porter Avenue across from the Haviland hangar.
That memorial is dedicated to the EA-6B Prowler air crews, maintenance personnel and their families.
The Memorial Day activities on the island kick off with a parade through Coupeville on Saturday starting at 11 a.m.
Among those in the parade are five Pearl Harbor survivors.
South Whidbey is also marking the day with ceremonies.
American Legion Post 141, with the Marine Corps, will host a Memorial Day Ceremony at 11 a.m. May 27 at the Bayview Cemetery.
All are welcome to a potluck afterwords at the Legion hall on Highway 525.
Memorial Day service at the Clinton Cemetery will be May 27 at 11 p.m.
Guest speaker is Whidbey Island resident Trisha Hallgren, retired United States Air Force senior master sergeant E-8. She was a flight chief out of McChord with 23 years of service, six active and 17 in reserves.
Boy Scout Troop 57, Daughters of the American Revolution, Matthew Erikson from Island Church and Mikkel Hustad from St Peter’s Lutheran Church will participate.
The cemetery is located next to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 6309 Wilson Place, Clinton.