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In honor of those who’ve served
Veterans are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, moms and dads, grandfathers and, yes, grandmothers, too.
Teresa Eidsmore, who served in the Coast Guard, and Eva Brown and Frances Skinner of the Navy WAVES, were among the World War II veterans honored at the Veterans Day ceremony at the Elks Lodge Tuesday morning.
“We appreciated the opportunity to serve and gained more than we gave,” Brown said of her military experience.
The fourth annual ceremony, started by Pastor David Lura of the First United Methodist Church of Oak Harbor, was held on the 11th day, of the 11th month, at the 11th hour, 90 years after the end of World War I, in honor of all U.S veterans and their families.
“Veterans all share the pride of being a part of something bigger than themselves,” Jim Slowik, U.S. Marine Corps veteran and mayor of Oak Harbor, said to the packed ballroom.
“Military service is a family commitment,” he said. “To every veteran, we owe a debt that we cannot repay, but that must always be acknowledged.”
Capt. Gerral David, commanding officer, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, told the audience that other countries celebrate their veterans on Nov. 11.
“No matter the era, we have all received a generous gift from our veterans, that we enjoy everyday,” he said. “Veterans are the ones that have carried the banner of freedom forward.”
“Looking into the future, we want to stop wars before they start,” David said. “Every veteran knows that preventing wars is better than fighting wars.”
The nation’s strength, he said, is in the military.
“Today we recognize people, not tanks or rifles or jets. Our strength will always be our people.”
Members of the Elks Lodge performed a flag folding ceremony, presenting Jack Rosebrook, a Pearl Harbor survivor, with the flag in honor of his service.
The Oak Harbor NJROTC Color Guard, Daybreak vocal trio, First United Methodist Church Choir and All-Island Community Bank also participated in the ceremony.