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Memorial Day celebration features ceremony, parade

ARLINGTON — Memorial Day was extra special in Arlington May 25, when the sun was shining brightly on the Red, White and Blue in the Memorial Day Parade on Olympic Avenue, at Legion Memorial Park, at the Avenue of Flags at the Arlington Cemetery, and also at the town’s original cemetery on Gifford Avenue on the bluff overlooking the river.

Launched by the Arlington Police, the parade included members of the American Legion Post 76, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1561, women’s auxiliaries to each, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of Troop 92, the Arlington High School ROTC, Girl Scouts and the AHS Band which turned out in force in honor of the day.

In front of the Legion Hall, auxiliary members left a wreath in honor of fallen veterans at the Veterans Memorial as they did later at the Arlington Cemetery where the Avenue of Flags attracted many community members. Each of the 150 flags belongs to the family of a deceased veteran of the military.

“Every time I see these flags, I think of my dad,” said Curt Warner, a veteran of the Gulf War. “I don’t think of myself as a veteran. It’s the World War II veterans, like Bruce Peseau here, who are the veterans.”

One of the World War II vets, Bruce Peseau said it feels good to see so many friends, neighbors and children here showing respect.

Shirley Wayt Moore was thinking of her father, Clarence Wayt, while watching the ceremony; Skip Smith was thinking of Oliver Smith and Yolanda Larsen was thinking of Dick Larsen.

Everyone was thinking of some loved one no longer here, someone who died in service to this country.

One young man who marched in the parade with Boy Scout Troop 92, Carl Kulper felt proud to be a part of the occasion.

“It was a bit nerve wracking to have all those people looking at you, and I tried hard to keep a straight face because you don’t want to smile, but it was good,” Kulper said after the parade.

A younger boy, Connor McEwen agreed.

“It was fun,” he said, adding he was happy to be in the parade honoring people who died in war.

City Councilman Dick Butner was glad to see so many young people and kids in the audience.

An organizer of the day, Jim Barron was tired and relieved that it was over.

“It was a bit confusing, but it all came together well,” he said after the Pioneer Cemetery was dedicated and he was getting ready to head to Darrington to honor the veterans laying in rest there at the foot of Whitehorse Mountain.

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