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Arlington commemorates Memorial Day May 26

Members of Arlington American Legion Post 76 marched down Olympic Avenue as part of Arlington
Members of Arlington American Legion Post 76 marched down Olympic Avenue as part of Arlington's annual Memorial Day parade last year.
— image credit: File photo.

ARLINGTON — The commemorations of Memorial Day will start early in Arlington on Monday, May 26, with members of Arlington American Legion Post 76 joining local Boy Scouts in raising the flags at the Arlington Cemetery at 5:15 a.m.

"That's not really a thing we expect the general public to be awake for, but we will be serving breakfast that same morning," said David Delancy, sergeant-at-arms, Color Guard commander and service officer for Post 76.

The Legion Lounge at 115 N. Olympic Ave. will host the breakfast from 7-9 a.m. It's free to those who raise flags at the cemetery that morning, and open to the public for $3 each.

Post Cmdr. Chris Raboin noted that prospective entrants are welcome to line up just south of the intersection of Division Street and Olympic Avenue for the 10 a.m. parade.

"The parade will be led by the Legion, with the VFW right behind us," said Delancy, referring to Arlington Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1561. "Beyond that, it's open to whoever wants to show up.

"There's no permit that's required to march in the parade, which makes it hard to tell how long the parade will last from year to year, especially with variable weather conditions," he added. "There have been years when the Legion and VFW have reached the end of the parade route on Olympic, put away our weapons and flags, and the parade was still going."

Delancy teased some possible surprises for this year's parade, although he deemed it premature to promise them.

"If it does happen, it'll be something that attendees of our previous parades haven't seen before, but they'll see the patriotic symbolism in it," Delancy said.

Raboin likewise played coy in identifying the two guest speakers for the 11 a.m. ceremony at the Arlington Cemetery, at 20310 67th Ave. NE, following the parade.

"They're not anyone famous," Raboin laughed. "But their remarks will evoke the themes of the day."

"Chris himself is an excellent speaker," Delancy said of Raboin. "And the Avenue of Flags at the cemetery is always moving to me. I've been to the Arlington National Cemetery back east, and ours blows it away."

After the cemetery ceremony, the Legion Lounge will welcome people back to buy meals of burgers, French dip sandwiches and pizza, with sides and drinks, starting at noon.

Delancy credited the coaches and players of the Legion-sponsored '76ers Little League team with lowering the flags at 6 p.m. that day

"Veterans Day is when we honor those who served and survived," Delancy said. "Memorial Day is when we honor the fallen who never came home alive."

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