Words on war part of Memorial Day ceremony on Whidbey Island

This Memorial Day ceremony in Langley is more than a tribute to those who died serving our country.

The Whidbey Island Veteran’s Resource Center goes beyond the traditional. Judith Gorman, codirector of the center, says they honor those who died in service to our country and also offer readings and performances from diverse voices about war.

The program is 1:30 p.m. May 31 at Langley Middle School, 723 Camano Ave. in Langley.

The program includes readings, music and a performance by MomoButoh Dance Company.

“The tribute is nonpartisan and nonpolitical,” Gorman says. “Wars have changed and so too our consciousness regarding the invisible wounds of war.”

She says that last year, 75 folks attended a similar program with heartfelt narratives.

Readings May 31 will include poetry, letters and other writings from various points of view, she says.

“Public sharing of what has been written, when listened to from the heart, becomes an opportunity for healing,” Gorman says. “The writing and reading-aloud process provides those of us at home the opportunity to have a brief emotional glimpse into the veterans’ experience of war. It is our deep listening to each other that starts the healing process.”

For more information, visit www.vetsresourcecenter.org or contact Gorman at 360-321-3776 or jgorman@whidbey.com.

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Maybe folks are taking care of old tires on Camano Island.

Last weekend 135 tires were turned in at a collection event, which is several hundred less than at past recycling events.

“Hopefully the drop is due to people having rid their garages and yards of tires during recycling events these past few years,” says Scott Chase, Island County Shore Stewards coordinator.

Folks on Whidbey Island turned in 500 tires this year, about the norm. “We might consider doing this on a less frequent basis on Camano in the future, maybe every other year,” Chase says. “We’ll see.”

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Kristen Thorstenson, spokeswoman for the Marysville Fire District, says most people don’t realize that 85 percent of the calls Marysville Fire District responds to are emergency medical calls.

So they are offering Teddy Bear Clinic events to create awareness about injury prevention and show what the district does day to day.

Children and adults will have an opportunity to experience firsthand what might happen if they or a family member suffer a medical emergency.

“This kind of clinic can help soften the fear and anxiety children feel when they are or a love one is transported to the hospital,” Thorstenson says. “Learn about basic fire safety and injury prevention.”

Because teddy bears are a symbol of comfort and caring, she says, children are encouraged to bring their favorite bear or stuffed animal to be the patient. Bears will have their blood pressure taken and those who need extra care can be bandaged or splinted. See various equipment medics use in the field.

Teddy Bear events are from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Sunnyside Fire Station No. 66, 7217 40th St. NE in Marysville and from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Shoultes Fire Station No. 62, 10701 Shoultes Road in Marysville.

Participants can learn about the File of Life program. It includes a card enabling medics and emergency personnel to get a quick medical history when a patient is unable to offer that information.

Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451, oharran@heraldnet.com.

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