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Marysville honors fallen veterans
MARYSVILLE Speakers no doubt made very similar comments at very similar ceremonies around the country on May 26, Memorial Day 2008.
Still, the thought of World War II veteran Leonard Martin summed more than nicely why about 100 or so people gathered in the Marysville Cemetery for a brief, roughly half-hour ceremony.
"We must not forget those who gave their ultimate," Martin said simply, later especially asking those in attendance to make sure their children and grandchildren understand history and some of the military sacrifices made for their sake.
A World War II POW, Martin was the guest speaker for the Marysville Memorial Day ceremony hosted by American Legion Post 178.
During his brief speech, Martin touched on a few subjects, recalling how, just shortly after he graduated high school, he learned of a friend who had been killed in Europe. He was moved to join the service and later named a son after that lost friend.
Martin was part of the force that liberated France from the Germans, but his an apt one, squad got ahead of the main body of the Allied Forces and he was taken prisoner for six months.
Besides the guest speaker, the ceremony included the usual parade of the color guard, this time provided by the Marysville-Pilchuck High School Army ROTC, according to the American Legion's Autrey Steilling. Steilling said the ROTC also helped put up the dozens of American flags that decorated the cemetery.
"It's nice to see young people who want to be involved," he said.
The ceremony also included a couple of songs, including a playing of country singer Tim McGraw's "I'm Already Home." The song refers to a letter written by a soldier to his family just in case he doesn't make it home. The song apparently was an apt one, as it seemed to elicit some scattered tears among the onlookers.
"I'm glad they do things like this," said Scott Johnson, who attended the ceremony to honor his father, who died in Vietnam. "It's just so important I just wish there were more people here. This place should be packed. Memorial Day should be as big as the Fourth of July, if not bigger."