EDITORIAL: Coupeville keeps tradition alive

One of the finest things about the historic town of Coupeville is how it keeps the Memorial Day Parade tradition alive.

This tradition dates back many decades in America, but it’s a fading one. Not so many years ago, almost every town and city presented a parade on Memorial Day where citizens could go, salute active and retired military members as they marched by, stand for the passing flags, and generally be eyewitnesses to the meaning behind Memorial Day.

In many towns, Memorial Day parades are a thing of the past. Whidbey Island Naval Air Station’s commanding officer, Capt. Stephen Black, told the crowd Saturday that to the best of his knowledge, only five such parades continue to exist in this state. The fact that one of them is in the little Whidbey Island town of Coupeville, with its 1,200-or-so people, is a testimony to the town’s sense of patriotism and tradition.

Such an event is not easy to produce for a small team of volunteers. Entries have to be solicited, cataloged and organized, arrangements made to close streets, and traffic managed along the route. Coupled with the end-of-parade gathering in Town Park with its music, speeches, and free ice cream and hotdogs, this is a monumental task.

To the volunteers who keep the Memorial Day Parade alive in Coupeville, we all owe you a debt of gratitude. The kids lining the parade route learned a history lesson while having a good time, and those who serve their country in the military were properly honored.

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