by Mariah Haines
The annual Memorial Day ceremony led by the American Legion began with a resident eagle soaring in small circles over the growing crowd at the Mount Baker Cemetery.
As attendees took in the symbolic appearance of the national emblem, Commander Roland Hachee began the event on May 27.
“[Fallen heroes] all died so that we can continue to cherish the things that we love: freedom, country and family,” said Hachee. “That is why we are gathered here on Memorial Day to honor the memory of our fallen warriors who have given everything for their country.”
The ceremony rotates from one cemetery to the next and honors fallen soldiers who have served their country. Including Woodlawn, Mount Baker and Olga cemeteries, more than 220 veterans’ graves were marked with flags.
The legion’s service included a reading of “Flanders Field” by Mary Boberg, a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, as well as a heartwarming speech by Hachee and a benediction by Chaplin Dave Resch. Following these remarks, legion members, dressed in uniform alongside auxiliary members serving as color guard, saluted fallen soldiers with two shots of their guns. Concluding the ceremony was a playing of “Reveille.”
Hachee called for compassion for those who have lost a family member.
“Comrades on this Memorial Day let us pledge ourselves anew to patriotic service,” he said. “Let us make ourselves the friend and brother, son and father, of those who will not see their own again in mortal flesh. Let us grasp with fearless hands the flag so notably and nobly born before, and like those others, plant it always on the battlements of righteousness.”