“Inspired by the Past”: Speakers and Community Salute Sequim Veterans for Their Sacrifices

Constant, freezing rain did not prevent large crowds from coming to pay their respects to veterans on December 18 at Sequim View Cemetery and other locations.

Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit that began in 1992 to continue and expand the annual wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, has seen more than 2.4 million balm wreaths at 3,136 participating sites across the country and abroad, including – for the second time – in Sequim.

Event organizer Judy Tordini of the Michael Trebert-Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter said the new tradition will extend to Port Angeles and Forks in December 2022.

Cmdr. Joan Snaith, USCG Air Station / Sector Field Office Port Angeles, shared her thoughts as a guest speaker at the event.

“We have to draw inspiration from the past. We must be educated by sacrifice. This education must go beyond dates, times, places, but must reflect the spirit, dedication and purpose of these veterans. They have taken on unimaginable tasks and challenges, righting wrongs, freeing the oppressed and ensuring the safety and security of all… and we must honor that, ”Snaith noted in his speech.

“We do this by making sure to carry on their legacy to continue the rituals and traditions of rights, but by serving the public, by serving your community – whether in the military, as a first responder, serving on the board or in a community. political office, but also through community service.

“By doing this and serving in the public, we are honoring their sacrifice. We honor the past and the future by providing a better future for generations to come. Because the things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain your legacy and that is why we are here today.

“This event and events like it nationwide are the best example of that.”

Saturday’s event saw inclement weather cancel the planned overflight of a restored 1944 Piper L-4H aircraft piloted by Sequim pilot David Woodcock, a retired US Air Force captain; however, remaining traditions – color presentation by members of the civilian air patrol of Dungeness Composite Flight, flag line by American Legion cavalrymen, national anthem and pledge of allegiance, invocation by Kathy Nicholls (the Navy 2020 Washington State of the Year), gun salute by Mt. Olympus Detachment Marine Corps League, the game of “Taps” and the laying of wreaths by representatives from each of the U.S. military branches and members of the community – continued in the rain.

“I know that many of us here today, myself included, cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to serve in the capacity that the brave men and women of our servicemen have,” emcee Greta Christianson, Michael Trebert Chapter NSDAR junior MP, said Saturday.

“So while we are not on the front lines to protect (ourselves) from foreign and domestic enemies like these current veterans and soldiers were, we must always keep in mind the quote that the 40th President of the States United, Ronald Reagan, said years ago and still stand up for our patriotic beliefs and values. “Freedom is never more than a generation away from extinction. We did not pass it on to our children in our bloodstream. It must be fought, protected and passed on for them to do the same. Or one day we will spend our twilight years telling our children and our children’s children what it was like. to live in the United States where men were free.

“Today we are now united… as we remember the dead, honor those who served their families and teach the next generation the value of freedom,” said Christianson.

Next year, National Wreath Day across America will be on Saturday, December 17.

This was the 30th year veterans wreaths have been placed there, a tradition started by Maine wreath maker Morrill Worcester as a thank you. He made the trip to Arlington again this year to lay wreaths as he has done every December since 1992, according to a press release from Wreaths Across America.

“When I dropped those 5,000 crowns that first year, I just thought it was a way for me to say thank you, for what we have in this country,” Worcester said. “I could never have imagined it would strike a chord and have such an impact. My family and I have continued to be touched by the support this program receives across the country.

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