Veterans to be honored across island

Several ceremonies are planned for Memorial Day.

Memorial Day services will be happening all around Whidbey on May 31, with a return to near-normalcy in most cases.

The Clinton Cemetery, located at 6309 Wilson Place, has a ceremony that will begin at 11 a.m. Ken Goff, who was a medic for the Army in the Vietnam War, will be the guest speaker along with the Daughters of the American Revolution. Members of the nonprofit organization will give a presentation about the historical projects they have been working on.

Members of Scouts BSA — formerly known as Boy Scouts of America — will be raising the flag and playing a rendition of Taps at the end of the ceremony.

The names of the 83 veterans who are buried in the Clinton Ceremony will be read aloud, and some patriotic songs may be sung. The pastor from the neighboring St. Peter’s Lutheran Church will be opening and closing the service.

Over at the Bayview Cemetery, located off Bayview Road, the ceremony will start at noon. Former Marine Bob Gabelein of South Whidbey’s Col. Richard “Buck” Francisco Marine Corps League Detachment 1451 said there will be a guest speaker this year, a departure from last year’s brief ceremony.

The speaker is an active duty service member who is currently stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

“We’ll do the rifle salute, the bugle, everything, just as we normally have done,” Gabelein said.

Members of his Marine Corps League will be outside Payless Foods Saturday in Freeland to collect donations for roses, raise money for scholarships and local veterans.

Although Coupeville has opted to cancel its Memorial Day Parade again this year, locals and visitors to the town will be able to find a tribute to veterans in the form of artwork made by the Coupeville Elementary School Wolf Pups Art Class. The artwork will be displayed from the municipal parking lot to the chamber of commerce on Northwest Alexander Street.

There will also be flags and decorations around South Main Street and Southeast Terry Road and near North Main Street and Northwest Coveland Street.

Veterans and their families will be honored during a service at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Oak Harbor.

The Oak Harbor Lions Club and Fleet Reserve Association Branch 97 are organizing the event, which begins at 10 a.m.

Keynote speakers will include Capt. Matthew Arny, commanding officer of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, and Rear Adm. Dr. William J. McDaniel, USN ret.

There will be a rifle team for a gun salute and NAS Whidbey’s Search and Rescue team will do a flyover. Members of the Orion squadron of the Naval Sea Cadets, a nonprofit civilian youth program, will be acting as ushers, participating in the Color Guard and playing music.

Besides the Lions Club and the Fleet Reserve Association, the Whitehead-Muzzall VFW Post 7392 and the American Legion George Morris Post 129 also support the event.

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