Veterans Day is commemorated across Whidbey Island

Whidbey Island is serious about Veterans Day.

The community is invited to the annual Community Veterans Day Program at the Oak Harbor High School. This will be the 15th year of the event, which is sponsored by the Oak Harbor Area Council, Navy League of the United States.

As is tradition, it will begin at 11 a.m., Monday, Nov. 11 at the Oak Harbor High School Performing Arts Center.

The guest speaker at this year’s program will be Heidimarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, a former astronaut and retired captain in the Navy.

The program will feature musical performances by Navy Band Northwest Brass Quintet, The Satin Dolls, the Oak Harbor High School Wind Ensemble and Harbor Singers, as well as vocal solos by Amelia Powell-Rousch, USN and Navy spouse Valerie Rocha.

Colors will be presented by the Oak Harbor High School NJROTC Color Guard.

In addition, under the auspices of Oak Harbor Main Street Association, a community Veterans Day parade will follow, beginning at 1 p.m. on Pioneer Way in downtown Oak Harbor.

“The community is invited and encouraged to attend this program, and the parade to follow, to honor all of the veterans among us, who have, throughout our nation’s history, fought to preserve our democracy, maintain the peace and preserve our legacy,” a Navy League press release states.

In addition, the town of Coupeville and the Central Whidbey Lions Club invite everyone to attend the long-standing tradition of commemorating Veterans Day with the annual Coupeville Remembrance Ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11.

It will take place in front of the Island County Courthouse. Members of Oak Harbor VFW Post 7392 Riders will present the flags of all branches of service, the U.S. flag and the flag honoring all POW-MIAs in all wars.

Coupeville Mayor Molly Hughes will give a greeting to all who are gathered and the Shifty Sailors will sing the anthem of each branch of service as the flags are presented.

On South Whidbey, annual Veterans Day ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Bayview Cenetery.

Other observances will be held in the days leading up to Veterans Day.

At Regency on Whidbey in Oak Harbor, a special observance will be held prior to Veterans Day.

The community is invited to attend the event at 12:30-1:30 p.m., on Friday, Nov. 8 at the facility at 1040 SW Kimball Dr. Gregory Smith, president of the Oak Harbor Navy League, will be the guest speaker.

On South Whidbey, students will be marking the solemn holiday. All campuses will be holding assemblies for Veterans Day on Nov. 7. South Whidbey veterans are invited to attend the events.

Veterans Day, once called Armistice Day, originally celebrated the end of major hostilities in World War I, which formally took place on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

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