Veterans Day will be commemorated across Whidbey Island next week

Whidbey honors its veteran community and celebrate its military heritage with Veterans Day events.

Whidbey will honor its veteran community and celebrate its military heritage with Veterans Day events all over the island next week.

An Oak Harbor community program featuring former Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Command Chaplain Douglas J. Waite will take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11 at the Oak Harbor High School covered stadium.

Born and raised in Washington state, Waite holds a masters of divinity degree and a doctor of ministry degree. He served in various military capacities in Vietnam, California, Japan, the Middle East, Washington state, Spain, Washington D.C. and Hawaii. While serving at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington D.C., he was involved in ministry at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Waite will be joined by the Oak Harbor High School band, under the direction of Brandon Nelson, and a trio of instrumentalists from the ORION Squadron Sea Cadets with vocalist Nathan McCartney. The Oak Harbor fire and police departments, the NAS Whidbey fire department and the Patriot Guard Riders will also participate.

Also at 11 a.m. on Veterans Day, the town of Coupeville will hold a service at the Veteran’s Memorial Plaza outside the Island County Courthouse.

Veterans and service members will post the U.S. flag as well as flags representing each branch of service and the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action flag on the plaza. The Shifty Sailors will perform the anthem of the different branches of the military. Coupeville Mayor Molly Hughes will also read a history of each branch of service.

In addition to the ceremony, citizens may put a tag with an honored or beloved veteran’s name on a small U.S. flag donated by the Central Whidbey Lions Club and place the flag in the landscaping around the Veteran’s Plaza, where it will remain throughout the weekend. Flag distribution begins an hour before the ceremony.

The Whidbey Veterans Resource Center will be hosting an event called “Honor Those Who Served” from 2-6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 14 at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley. It is sponsored by the Goose Community Grocer.

The event, featuring music by Andre Fierante, is a fundraiser for the resource center, a nonprofit advocacy group that supports local veterans. The event also promises food, wine and art.

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