About 100 people attended a waterside service at Percival Landing in downtown Olympia on Sunday to remember American service men and women who served and died at sea.
The event was organized by the Thurston County Veterans Council, and featured cannon fire, the Pledge of Allegiance, prayers, a rifle salute and the bugling of taps.
In addition, folks were invited to toss rhododendron blossoms, wild roses and other flowers into Budd Inlet, in honor of those who do not have graves to decorate during Memorial Day weekend.
“The sea has claimed many of our loved ones,” said emcee Bill Doucette, with VFW Post 318 in Olympia. “Most are still at sea.”
Representatives from several South Sound veterans’ organizations participated in the service, including several American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts and their auxiliaries.
“It was very solemn, very honorable,” said retired Army staff sergeant Bob Nakamura, who is commander and veteran service officer with the VFW Lacey Post 11402.
Edith and Don Lindley of Lacey said they always try to attend services that promote Memorial Day’s true meaning.
“My dad was 20 years military, and I was too,” he said.
“The younger generation, they think it’s a four-day holiday so they get into their car and go somewhere,” she added.
World War II veteran and D-day survivor George Narozonick, 88, of Olympia said his thoughts were alongside the young men he fought with in Normandy, Okinawa and elsewhere.
“Watching those guys going in and not going back,” he said. “The guys who didn’t have a chance.”
Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 email@example.com @Lisa_Pemberton