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Marysville remembers fallen heroes
MARYSVILLE — While scores of American flags blew in the wind, more than 100 people crowded the north side of the Marysville Cemetery to honor fallen patriots at the annual Marysville American Legion Post 178 Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony, Monday, May 30.
“This is a special day for anyone who is an American,” longtime Marysville resident and veteran Henry Stone said. “The (American) Legion does such a great job, as do the students from Marysville-Pilchuck High School. I am honored to be here.”
With the Marysville-Pilchuck band at her side, senior Cheyanne Froelich opened the ceremony by singing the National Anthem, as the school’s Naval Junior ROTC paraded the colors. The sharply-dressed NJROTC members included juniors Clarke Torres, Nikaila Toles, Dillon Ahola, Kelsey Burrows and sophomore Jasmine Iglesias.
The Legion’s honor guard, represented by Tony Campbell, Michael Forrest, John Smith, Lynn Claughton and Fire Team commander Jeremiah Fort, delivered a thunderous 21-gun salute. American Legion Cmdr. Ken Cage and Chaplain Jim Sewell delivered messages about unity, honor and the importance of remembering our fallen men and women in uniform.
“I don’t know anyone who has passed away but I am proud to be here,” University of Washington student and Marysville native Aaron Johnson said. “Mr. Cage speaks for us all, that is for sure. My brother is enlisting in the navy, so our entire family is here to support and honor all our heroes who fought for our freedom.”
The hour-long celebration brought people together from all over Snohomish County, some of whom knew or had a loved one pass while serving and protecting Americans everywhere in the world. Some were there simply to honor their country.
“We are here to represent the fallen and those who are in the service today,” said Olga Taylor, who’s lived in Marysville for 85 years. By her side was husband of 64 years, Kenneth Taylor, a Marine Corps veteran.
“Today is a big deal for all of us,” Kenneth Taylor said. “Today is a time to stop and recognize those who have given their lives for our country and to honor their commitment for the protection of America. They have given the ultimate sacrifice for protecting our country and that is something to remember. There are men I knew who never came back from the wars, so we come out to honor those who keep us safe.”
The Taylors, who have been attending the annual Memorial Day celebration for as long as they can remember, were also there to honor Olga’s mother and father, brother and second- and third-cousins. Olga calls the cemetery the “Olson Plot.”
“I know more people in this cemetery than I know in Marysville,” she said. “We have been coming here ever since the (American Legion) started doing this. But my father and two brothers were in the military, too. My brother, who is buried here, was in the Army. So we are here to honor everyone.”
There are more than 200 red, white and blue flags blowing at the cemetery, which bests last year’s total count. After the ceremony, family, friends and community members met at the Legion Hall for lunch and to share memories.