Opinion

Whidbey will never forget | Editorial

There may be no better place than Whidbey Island over the Memorial Day weekend. There is an abundance of events honoring the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect freedom and their loved ones back home.

It all begins today, May 26, with Coupeville’s annual Memorial Day Parade. Stake out a spot along Main Street and watch the cavalcade of veterans groups, including Pearl Harbor survivors, pass by in a variety of cars, trucks and motorcycles. A Navy flyover will tell us when the parade is about to begin just before 11 a.m.

In Coupeville, it doesn’t end with a parade. An old fashioned picnic with solemn words of remembrance followed by patriotic music takes place in Town Park following the parade. It’s an old fashioned scene that could come from a book of Currier and Ives prints. Sadly, Memorial Day parades are becoming scarce in the U.S., but islanders should be proud that we have the volunteers, service organizations and the local Navy presence to present one of the best.

Monday, which is the official Memorial Day, features several solemn ceremonies, at Oak Harbor Maple Leaf Cemetery at 10 a.m., at Sunnyside Cemetery overlooking Ebey’s Prairie at noon; at South Whidbey’s Clinton Cemetery at 10 a.m., and at Bayview Cemetery at 11 a.m.

With all these services sponsored by local American Legion and VFW posts, the auxiliaries, associated groups, Boy Scouts and Navy honor guards and speakers, the least the average Whidbey Island resident can do is attend.

It’s not as if Memorial Day is a thing of the past. Every day we read Department of Defense news releases reporting the loss of another American fighting for his or her country. Most of the dying now is taking place in Afghanistan, but only a year or two ago the deaths were mainly taking place in Iraq.

Regardless of one’s political views, those who risk their lives when the nation calls are true heroes, and those who die in battle deserve to be remembered. On Whidbey Island, there is no excuse for missing a Memorial Day ceremony. Bring the kids and show them what patriotism is all about.

 

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