Solemn service honors Memorial Day in Bayview | Spotlight

On a day set aside to honor our nation’s war dead, it was a brief speech from a young girl that set the tone for the Memorial Day service at Bayview Cemetery Monday morning.

members of the Maj. Megan McClung Marine Corps League Detachment 1210 honor guard march into Bayview Cemetery to start the annual Memorial Day service.

Out of the mouths of babes.

On a day set aside to honor our nation’s war dead, it was a brief speech from a young girl that set the tone for the Memorial Day service at Bayview Cemetery Monday morning.

“We come here today to honor those who gave their lives,” said 14-year-old Krista Drechsel, this year’s Poppy Girl for American Legion Post 141.

“All branches of the military should be remembered, not for what they fought against, but for what they fought for.”

The quiet, reverent ceremony took place under a shroud of gray skies, raindrops pattering lightly down throughout most of the service.

A Marine Corps League honor guard started the observance, marching down the lane and standing at rest at one end of the graveyard. American Legion Post 141 Commander John Hilberg was the master of ceremonies, and post chaplain, Pastor Darrel Wenzek, gave the invocation.

“We remember the men and women who have given their lives so we can offer this prayer to you,” he prayed.

Guest speaker for the ceremony, Jeff Lauderdale, echoed the sentiment.

“Today we honor America’s patriots,” Lauderdale said.

“Their sacrifice serves as a reminder of the high cost of freedom and our hope for a safer, more free world.”

Lauderdale praised the American Legion and the Veterans Resource Center, who organized the ceremony, along with a potluck and a remembrance ceremony at the post following the cemetery service. He said Memorial Day offers the “opportunity to think about our country, our birthright and the responsibility of citizenship.”

“The mortar that binds us together is mixed with the blood and tears of those who died in battle,” he said. “We can never repay that debt. We must ensure that their memory and their spirit do not die with them.”

Also important to remember, said Lauderdale, are those who returned from battle, but at a cost.

“We must also remember those who returned with the scars of the battle of war,” he said. “Today is mostly about refusing to forget. Let us resolve to renew our commitment to peace, freedom and prosperity.”

Following a rifle ceremony by the Marine Corps League honor guard, the sound of “Taps” floated across the cemetery as a member of the American Legion played the 24-note homage.

Glen Vaughn, an Army veteran who came to the ceremony in uniform, teared up when asked what should be remembered on Memorial Day.

“The men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said, his voice breaking. “And the dedication of all the volunteers who have served.”


More in News

New Trustland Trails path draws ire from nearby residents

South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District crews constructed a new wooded pathway… Continue reading

State lawmakers re-consider eliminating statute of limitations on sex crimes

By Taylor McAvoy WNPA Olympia News Bureau A bill passed in the… Continue reading

Langley City Council approves property rezoning

A quandary spanning several months over property zoning in a Langley neighborhood… Continue reading

Wait over for Saturday bus service on Whidbey

Island Transit set to roll Jan. 27

Man accused of putting gun to woman’s head in Clinton

A 33-year-old man is accused of putting a gun to a Clinton… Continue reading

Burglars steal from robotics club in Clinton

Burglars stole about $3,000 worth of equipment from South Whidbey children who… Continue reading

Federal marijuana stance doesn’t change anything for Whidbey entrepreneurs, law enforcement

The U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared that federal cannabis laws will… Continue reading

Rising acidity levels could put marine life at risk, expert says

Reversing the consequences of ocean acidification would be like steering the Titanic… Continue reading

More savings, profits than expected at closed school, center

The closure of Langley Middle School is estimated to save more money… Continue reading

Most Read