Stanwood’s Purple Heart declaration could have gone further

Recently the Stanwood City Council declared its town a Purple Heart city. It joined Snohomish County and individual cities in the county in this declaration. One council member said that it was “a fantastic show of support for our veterans.” A noble gesture but it also highlights the missed opportunity by city leaders to acknowledge the ongoing efforts to honor Stanwood and Camano Island veterans just outside the walls of city hall.

There is no mention of Stanwood’s American Legion Post No. 92 and its vital service center for veterans of this area provided by its service officer and volunteers who assist hundreds of local veterans to secure benefits or the efforts to repair their historic building.

There was no mention of the ongoing Wreaths Across America campaign the American Legion spearheaded to place bows of remembrance on veterans’ graves at Anderson Cemetery this coming December. Nor any mention of the city’s Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the Stanwood Area Historical Society. There, 50 names of local veterans who gave all for their country are etched. The names of over 225 other veterans, living or deceased, are enshrined on its veterans’ wall by family members.

While all can applaud the action of the Stanwood Council, one can still wonder in amazement how the efforts of those in their own backyard receive no council support or even a declaration of appreciation. They are the Stanwood City Council and understanding the sacrifices of veterans should begin here first, in their own community.

Robin Hanks

Camano Island

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