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North Whidbey events to salute local vets

By JANIS REID
Whidbey News-Times Staff reporter
November 7, 2013 · Updated 11:13 AM
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Local active duty servicemen and women carry Fallen Hero banners in last year’s Veterans Day parade in Oak Harbor. / Contributed photo

Events are planned locally in recognition of Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11.

The second annual Veterans Day Parade is 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 and is estimated to last 45 minutes.

The parade is the brainchild of local veteran Terry Lacey. After attending a similar event, Lacey said he decided Oak Harbor should produce one as well.

“In 2011, I participated in the Burlington Veterans Day Parade and immediately asked, ‘why don’t we have a Veterans Day parade’ in Oak Harbor?, and no one seemed to have an answer other than, ‘the weather in November,’” Lacey said.

Parade route will run west from Midway Boulevard and Pioneer Way to State Highway 20, ending in front of Ace Hardware.

Similar to last year, the parade will include approximately 50 fallen hero banners featuring the names and faces of a local fallen servicemen and women.

Grand marshal of this year’s parade will be Olga Belevich Evans, who served as an Army Air Corps flight nurse, during World War II.

Evans was one of approximately 1,500 army flight nurses in this country’s history. She served for two years, one month, and 13 days, from July 1, 1943 to Aug. 13, 1945. She was issued an Honorable Service Lapel Button when she was discharged as a first lieutenant.

“As a first generation American, mom was very proud to serve in the United States Army Air Corps as a flight nurse during World War II, said her daughter, Deborah Dinger. “She is so pleased to have been selected to be the 2013 grand marshal of Oak Harbor’s Veteran’s Day Parade.”

“She will, once again, don her uniform with great pride.”

Also on Saturday, the Disabled American Veterans of Whidbey Island, Local Chapter No. 47 will conduct its annual “Forget-Me-Not” drive 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. throughout Oak Harbor.

Donations from the drive go to the DAV’s transportation program and the purchase of a new van, which is needed to transport veterans to the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Seattle.

On Monday, a ceremony honoring veterans will take place at the traditional 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month at the Veteran’s Memorial, located next to the Island County Commissioners Hearing Room at the county campus on Northeast Sixth Street in Coupeville.

During the ceremony, volunteers will unfurl flags representing each of the Armed Forces, the Merchant Marine as well as prisoners of war/missing in action and the United States flag.

At 11:11 a.m. the nearby Methodist Church will ring the bell.

Veterans Day is based on the date hostilities ended in World War I, Nov. 11, 1918.

Also at 11 a.m. Monday, the Oak Harbor Area Council and the Navy League is sponsoring the ninth annual Veterans Day “A Musical Salute to our Veterans” at the Oak Harbor High School Performing Arts Center. Admission is free.

The program features musical performances by the An-O-Chords barbershop chorus, the Daybreak Trio, Oak Harbor High School’s Harbor Singers and Treble Choir, and the All-Island Community Band. Guest speaker will be Capt. Mike Nortier, Whidbey Island Naval Air Station commanding officer.

 

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