LYNNWOOD — Over 4,000 American flags marked the graves of veterans on Saturday at Purdy and Walters at Floral Hills, a funeral home and cemetery in Lynnwood.
They are physical reminders of those who have served in our country’s wars. The graves span over a century of conflicts, all branches of the military. Privates and corporals and lieutenants lie there.
Among them is Linda Daniels’ husband of 20 years, Dan, of Snohomish. He spent 27 years in the U.S. Navy and served in the Vietnam War, where he took boats up and down rivers.
He passed away four years ago on Memorial Day from cancer, Linda Daniels said, due to complications from Agent Orange, an herbicide the United States used to destroy forests and crops in Vietnam.
Daniels, 70, said she’s had a hard time coming out to the cemetery to visit him. The most she could do the past few years was place flowers by his grave. But this year, finally, she sat down and spent time with her husband.
“This time I could actually stay and talk to him and tell him how much I missed him,” she said.
Daniels, who volunteers with the Sno-King chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America, said she was thankful for the nearly hundred volunteers who gathered Saturday to place the flags. Among them were Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts powered by donuts and hot chocolate.
Michael Mattson, 46, a Navy veteran from Bothell, brought his two sons, Jordan and Jaden, 5 and 9.
“I wanted my kids to know what Memorial Day is about, what it’s for,” Mattson said. It’s not just a holiday weekend. It’s a memorial of people who sacrificed and died for our freedom.”
Monday marks the return of a number of Memorial Day events in Snohomish County that were either paused or toned down significantly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are a few events you can go to. This is not a comprehensive list.
• Snohomish County officials will unveil a new memorial at 9 a.m. Monday on the Centennial Trail in Arlington, dedicated to those who died in conflicts after Sept. 11, 2001. A sculpture by a local artist and an interpretive kiosk will be located at the approach to Haller Bridge, 1100 West Ave., where it crosses the Stillaguamish River.
• People are invited to join American Legion Post 76 to raise flags at 5:30 a.m. at the Arlington Cemetery at 20310 67th Ave. NE. A free pancake breakfast will follow at 6:30 a.m., at 115 N Olympic Ave., for those who volunteer to help. Others can join for a “nominal fee.”
• Arlington’s Memorial Day Parade, also hosted by the American Legion, will start at 10 a.m. on Olympic Avenue. There will be a ceremony at the cemetery afterward. At 5 p.m., American Legion volunteers will take down the flags and return them to rest, “until we honor our fallen heroes again in 2023.”
• Fleet Reserve Association Branch 170 will host a short ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Eternal Flame outside the Snohomish County Courthouse, 3000 Rockefeller.
• The Edmonds Memorial Cemetery and Columbarium, 820 15th St. SW, will host its annual observance at 11 a.m. Monday, rain or shine. This year’s speaker is Gold Star Mother Monica McNeal, of Lynnwood.
• Lake Stevens American Legion Post 181 will host two services on Monday. The first is at 10 a.m. at the flag memorial in downtown Lake Stevens, 1808 Main St. The second will take place at noon, at the Machias Cemetery, 1201 Silva St., Snohomish.
• Lynnwood American Legion Post 37 and Lynnwood Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1040 are sponsoring a ceremony at 11 a.m. at Veterans Park, 44th Avenue West and Veterans Way. It will include music, the laying of a wreath and a rifle salute.
• Purdy and Walters at Floral Hills, 409 Filbert Road, will present a service of remembrance at 11 a.m. at its Veterans Memorial, along with the Vietnam Veterans of America Sno-King Chapter 423.
• American Legion Post 178 will host a ceremony at 11 a.m. at Marysville Cemetery, 8801 State Ave., which will include a patriotic display of more than 300 burial flags. Speakers and presentations will include Marysville Pilchuck High School’s Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, and an Honor Guard’s rifle salute to the fallen. There will be a free brass concert at 2 p.m., and Taps will be played at 3 p.m. by the main flagpole.
• Mill Creek will have a ceremony at 9 a.m. at Library Park, 15429 Bothell Everett Highway. The Mill Creek Chorale will perform the National Anthem. State Sen. John Lovick and Rep. April Berg will speak.
• The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7511 will hold a ceremony 10 a.m. at the IOOF cemetery, 21714 Old Owen Road.
• American Legion Post 92 of Stanwood will have its commemoration at 11 a.m. at Anderson Cemetery, 7630 Pioneer Highway. Post Chaplain John Swanson will provide an opening prayer. The Stanwood High School band, along with musician Ed Pearson, will perform.