The Veterans Day parade in Oak Harbor will be especially poignant this year.
The deaths of two people involved in the parade should serve as a reminder of the importance of showing our respect and appreciation now for those who served and are serving.
Veterans of World War II are disappearing from our midst, as is the privilege of thanking them in person.
Shelley Blackburn and Melissa Riker brought back the parade after it was cancelled last year for lack of interest.
Harold Picard, 87, was selected as the grand marshal. He was a parachute rigger in the Navy.
In a tragic turn of events, Blackburn, 56, the wife of a former Navy man and an active American Legion member, died unexpectedly Oct. 25.
Picard died five days later.
Riker should be commended for moving forward with the parade, which is 2-3 p.m. on Veterans Day. It will travel the “Walk of Honor” down Pioneer Way, from Regatta Drive to Midway Boulevard. Whidbey residents should make a point of showing their support by lining the parade route.
There are a couple of other ways people can show their support.
Oak Harbor Navy League is holding its annual Veterans Day program 11 a.m., Saturday at Oak Harbor High School. Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas will be guest speaker. Music for the event will be performed by Oak Harbor High School Jazz Band, the high school Harbor Singers and a soloist from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island performing the National Anthem.
A presentation of the colors will be performed by the high school Naval JROTC.
The event will be over in time for people to attend the parade.
Coupeville Lions Club organized a Veter-ans Day Remembrance Ceremony 11 a.m. on Veterans Day at the Veterans Memorial in Coupeville, at the corner of Sixth and Center streets.
A representative from each branch of the military will present that branch’s flag.
Let’s all show our great appreciation for those who served in order for us to live in a free country.