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Mville honors service personnel during Memorial Day events
MARYSVILLE Another year, another loss.
As hundreds gathered at Marysville Cemetery to honor veterans past and present, two voices were missing from their solemn prayers and remembrances.
Chaplain Jack Otto, a member of American Legion Post 128 for 60 years, and Dick Breem, a member of the rifle squad and musician, both passed away last year. Their passing was another example of the importance of thanking our veterans and service personnel while we can, said speaker Jim Sewell, a retired U.S. Navy commander and leader of the Marysville Memorial Day events.
Both are sorely missed and we know they are looking down on us today, Sewell told about 200 visitors to the cemetery. Today we are here to honor all the brave men and women who answered the call of their country.
Sewell noted that the cemetery holds veterans of every United States war of the 20th century and a few of the 19th. The 250 flags flown around the graveyard were all given by the government to families of vets, who in turn loaned them to be displayed during Memorial Day, he added.
We are eternally grateful for those who sacrificed, Sewell said.
Red, white and blue flowers were placed on a cenotaph in memory of veterans and a moment of silence was observed.
Sewell noted that the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Midway will occur on June 1, quoting remarks by the current chief of naval operations Admiral Mike Mullin, who said the battle represented more than a clash of titans, but a shining moment in our history.
Korean War Navy veteran Ken Cage intoned a solemn prayer, asking God to make us ready for that last hour.
The annual ceremony means a lot to the veterans. Farlan Dubarry is a World War II Army veteran who served with the 96th Infantry Division, earning a Bronze Star on Okinawa when his machine gun unit took out a couple heavy anti-tank guns.
Thats the only hero weve really got, said Bill Ostrowski as he pointed to the raft of medals on Dubarrys chest.
Dubarry said the Memorial Day remembrances went right to his heart.
Its great, and the turnout makes you feel really good, Dubarry said. Its nice to be honored once a year.
The Marysville-Pilchuck High School Junior Reserve Office Training Corps program provided a color guard, and Stephen Utt played the familiar tones of Taps on the bugle. The color guard included students Kody Duran, Felicia Smith, Julie Vanleemput and Andrew Sullivan.
The JROTC kids attend more than 40 similar events throughout each school year, and last Memorial Day were the color guard in Everett. For Vanleemput this year was much more special, as it kept her closer to home.
This is the city where I live in, I felt it more, Vanleemput said. It was a great honor. It was pretty cool.
Across the street at St. Marys Catholic Church, retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. John Haberle was visiting the grave of the Reverend Edmond F. Long. Long was a native of County Tipperary, Ireland and Our Lady of Perpetual Help at Fort Lewis near Tacoma. Haberle was a substitute teacher at the school when he was on active duty and he knew Long from his time there.
Father Long was a good strong Irishman, to put it mildly, Haberle recalled. I came to say a few prayers in his honor today.
Haberle spent 28 years, four months and four days in the Army, getting a short extension to the statutory limit for lieutenant colonels thanks to the first Gulf War. He graduated from Seattle University and decided to see how far the army green could take him, ultimately serving as a public information officer for the Sixth Army.
I really cant say enough nice things about the military, Haberle said.