Memorial Day event adapts to the times

Rather than cancel this year’s Memorial Day service at Maple Leaf Cemetery, Kelly Davidson is adapting the event to abide by social distancing guidelines.

“I was pretty upset at the idea of canceling,” said Davidson, who works for Wallin Funeral Home in Oak Harbor. “I thought even if we just do something simple, we have to do something.”

Davidson said she decided to record the service and broadcast it on YouTube, Facebook Live, and, possibly, Oak Harbor’s channel 10 at 10 a.m. May 25.

Davidson said she has already located the necessary audio recording equipment and is in the process of obtaining a camera.

Last year’s service held at the Maple Leaf Cemetery garnered recognition from the George Washington Charter of Sons of the American Revolution and was listed on CNN’s 10 best Memorial Day destinations in 2019.

Davidson said her goal was to make this year’s service bigger than last year’s. While some of the event’s scheduled speakers have not confirmed they will be participating in the new format, many have.

Among the confirmed speakers and performers for the online event are Oak Harbor Mayor Bob Severns, Oak Harbor High School’s NJROTC Chief Bill Thiel, Navy Band Northwest and the American Legion.

Davidson said she’s also asking members of the public to submit short videos thanking first responders and remembering fallen service members.

“This virus is affecting the generation that we were intending to honor,” she said, adding that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Oak Harbor Lions Club is sponsoring the video, and American Legion Post No. 129 and Maple Leaf Cemetery are co-hosting the event.

Davidson said she expects the video will reach a larger audience than last year’s event.

“I think it’s gonna bring in quite a few people from other areas of our nation,” she said.

“My family members are going to watch from South Carolina, so we’re going at least there.”

Maple Leaf Cemetery will remain open and anyone can visit a grave so long as they maintain social distancing, according to Davidson.

To submit a video thanking first responders or service members, contact Davidson at

More in News

Sand build-up leads to closure of Mutiny Bay boat ramp

The boat launch at Mutiny Bay will remain closed due to sand… Continue reading

Lions member building birdhouses to help food bank

A South Whidbey man is using his time at home constructively by… Continue reading

South Whidbey registering kindergarteners for 2020-21

Our goal is to register all prospective kindergarten students as soon as… Continue reading

Clinton walk-in clinic set to open June 2

A new Clinton walk-in clinic is slated to open June 2 and… Continue reading

Restaurants, retail and other businesses in Island County can reopen under variance

Restaurants can serve people at tables inside, stylists can start cutting hair,… Continue reading

Coupeville Memorial Day parade cancelled, but other recognitions planned for Central Whidbey

Coupeville’s annual Memorial Day parade is cancelled, but the Coupeville Chamber of… Continue reading

Car destroyed by fire

Photo by West Coast Fire Media-Bryan Fick Nobody was injured in a… Continue reading

Greenbank man accused of raping unconscious woman

A 36-year-old Greenbank man is in jail after he was allegedly caught… Continue reading

Langley sees crime spike in last 2 months

Property crimes have been on the rise in Langley for the last… Continue reading

Most Read