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Marysville honors Memorial Day
MARYSVILLE — "The fact that so many of you braved the weather to pay your respects is a tribute to the spirit of America," Marysville American Legion Post 178 Cmdr. Ken Cage told the dozens of attendees of the rainy Memorial Day observance May 31 at the Marysville Cemetery.
After Doris Lobe read a poem for the American flag, the Marysville-Pilchuck High School JROTC paraded the colors and siblings Alison and Grant Siedenburg performed "The Star-Spangled Banner." Post Chaplain Jim Sewell thanked the military members, police officers and firefighters who had given their lives and sustained injuries in the course of their service.
"We honor not only their memories, but also their hopes and dreams," Sewell said.
Before his fellow Legion members performed a gun salute and buglers Steven Utt and Trevor Grimm played "Taps," Cage explained that he attends such ceremonies, instead of going on vacation, because like those who joined him that day, he remembers those who fought and died on behalf of their countrymen.
"They were all heroes, whether their medals said so or not," Cage said. "They gave our nation a blank check which said, 'Take my life if it will help preserve our nation.'"
Cage asserted that such sacrifices are the only reason why respect can be paid to those men and women, whom he noted are continuing to die in the line of duty every day. He warned against the threat of terrorism from foes whom he believes are opposed to Americans' self-determination, but expressed confidence that "American patriots will volunteer and do what is required to preserve our country."
Walt Bailey was only a few months out of basic training at Fort Shafter in Honolulu when he witnessed the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor.
"People were firing live ammo, target ammo, whatever they could get ahold of," Bailey said. "A couple of months after, the mattress covers in the hospital were still stained with the blood of the wounded. These ceremonies are for the fallen and those who have given their lives for the rest of us. I'm sorry they can't hear it, but by continuing it, those who are still alive know that, when they pass away, others will do the same for them."
Army National Guard Pfc. Anthony Paulino of Marysville recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq, where he and his fellow soldiers helped provide medical care to Iraqi children.
"People don't see the greater good that's being done," Paulino said. "Some people think Memorial Day is just a three-day weekend, but you should think about the meaning of this day."