Events honor those who died for country

From Monroe to Everett on Friday, people gathered to pay homage to those who gave their lives in this country’s service and to honor all active-duty military personnel now serving the nation.

The ceremonies were just the first of numerous events scheduled for the Memorial Day weekend.

In Monroe, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7511 members honored veterans at the Regency Care Center in Monroe, where 16 former service members were singled out.

Jerry Stackpole of the VFW gave several World War II veterans a chance to talk about their experiences.

“We just wanted to recognize the veterans,” Stackpole said. “We just thought this was a good time to show our appreciation.”

In Everett, there was a more elaborate show at Naval Station Everett that featured cannon fire and an airplane flyover in the “missing man” formation, where a single plane breaks from the formation to symbolize those lost in combat.

The naval station event celebrated both Memorial Day and the birth date of the late U.S. Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson, who was born on May 31, 1912.

The ceremony took place in a wide plaza named after the late Congress member who served more than 40 years in the House and Senate.

Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson and former Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel both spoke about the sacrifices military personnel and their families make in the name of freedom.

They also pointed out that it was Jackson’s inspiration in the early 1980s that led to the establishment of the Everett base.

Drewel said that Jackson left a legacy of legislation supporting such things as conservation, recreation, protecting the environment and national security.

He ended quoting Jackson: “If you believe in freedom, then proclaim it, live it, protect it, for humanity’s future depends upon it.”

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