LAKEWOOD — Whether you're in Marysville, Arlington or Lakewood this weekend, you'll have a number of opportunities to commemorate Veterans Day this year.
Lakewood High School, at 17023 11th Ave. NE, will serve as the site for an assembly and brunch for all veterans on Friday, Nov. 9, in honor of Veterans Day.
The brunch is slated to run from 10-10:30 a.m., with the assembly scheduled to follow from 10:30-11 a.m. The event is free, and no reservations are required to attend.
At last year's ceremony, the Marysville-Pilchuck High School Naval Junior ROTC paraded the colors, the LHS choir sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" and all veterans in attendance stood to receive a standing ovation. Students who had loved ones in the service stood to be recognized as well, and when the applause faded, the room went dark save for a single candle, lit to honor America's fallen heroes in a moment of silence. A single violin played a somber rendition of "Amazing Grace." When the lights came back on, the choir sang "Unsung Hero" with a piano accompaniment.
Downtown Arlington can once again expect a main street parade and a hearty meal for its former and current service members on Veterans Day.
The members of Arlington American Legion Post 76 will be lining up entrants at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, for their veterans' parade starting at 10 a.m.
"It's just a short and simple parade," Post 76 Sergeant-at-Arms Dave Delancy said. "We'll stop at the memorial in Legion Park to pay our respects to the troops who went on before us."
The truck with the World War II and other older veterans has long been a mainstay of the parade, but Arlington Legion members strive to represent every era of veterans in the procession, including Vietnam veterans.
As in previous years, the parade will proceed south on Olympic Avenue and conclude in time for the noon meal at the Post 76 Legion Lounge, located at 115 N. Olympic Ave.
Veterans eat for free, and members of the general public pay $5.
Also, as in years past, a number of older veterans will be honored during the dinner, and the traditional ceremony honoring missing-in-action military members will once again be conducted.
"We hope the community will come on out to honor the troops who have fought and sacrificed for their country," Delancy said. "That support shows what America is all about."
The dinner is free to all veterans, whether they're Legion members or not. It's also one of the few days that members of the general public can hang out in the Post 76 Lounge.
Marysville American Legion Post 178 will be hosting its annual Veterans Day chili feed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 — in recognition of the sacrifices that America's veterans, active duty and reserve military members, and their families have made throughout the history of the country.
Everyone within the community is welcome, and there's no admission fee. The doors will open at 10:30 a.m. for those who wish to arrive early.
The Marysville American Legion is located on the corner of Cedar Avenue and Second Street. For more information, you may contact Mike Forrest at 425-221-7484.
Last year's Veterans Day in Marysville marked the inauguration of Marysville American Legion Post 178's freshly decorated mailbox, that has been used throughout the year to collect worn-out American flags for proper disposal.
"The American Legion performs a dignified and respectful ceremony to burn American flags that have become too frayed and worn to be useable," Post 178 Cmdr. Ken Cage said. "You won't miss the mailbox's bright red color. We ask that, if possible, folks who drop off their flags pin stories to them about where those flags were flown and any unusual circumstances about them."
The Applebee's restaurant at 3702 88th St. NE in Marysville also invites active-duty military and veterans to dine for free from 10 a.m. to midnight.
"We do have a bit of a limited menu for the free meals, and we won't be serving breakfast that day," said Brittany Humphrey of the Marysville Applebee's. "We would also prefer if the military members or veterans could present an ID or show up in uniform."
Mike Kossak, owner of the Golden Corral restaurant at 1065 State Ave. in Marysville, will once again be inviting veterans to eat for free from 5-9 p.m. on "Military Monday," Nov. 12, to observe Veterans Day.
"This is our 12th year of doing this, and over the course of the past 11 years, our Marysville Golden Corral has averaged about 450 free 'thank you' meals a year to veterans, and between $700 to $1,000 donated each year to the Disabled American Veterans," said Kossak, who added that the Golden Corral chain as a whole has served 3.2 million "thank you" meals to veterans, and helped donate $6.1 million to the DAV, during that same time.
Kossak assured veterans that they don't need to bring ID cards or uniforms to eat for free — just themselves.
"It's always an awesome night," Kossak said. "The atmosphere is great. My wife and I are honored to do this."