Featured speaker Mark Ozias, a Clallam County commissioner, lauds veterans for their service and ability to help restore their communities at a special Veterans Day event at American Legion Jack Grennan Post No. 26 in Sequim. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Featured speaker Mark Ozias, a Clallam County commissioner, lauds veterans for their service and ability to help restore their communities at a special Veterans Day event at American Legion Jack Grennan Post No. 26 in Sequim. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Ozias: Those who have served can help divided nation

Commemorations conducted throughout Peninsula

SEQUIM — Veterans can play a critical role in helping a divided nation come together.

Along with a message of deep gratitude, that was the central theme for Clallam County Commissioner Mark Ozias as he welcomed a standing-room-only crowd inside the American Legion Jack Grennan Post No. 62 in Sequim on Thursday to honor the nation’s veterans.

“Veterans can help repair the frayed fabric in our community,” Ozias said at the Veterans Day assembly, noting that veterans, perhaps better than many others, can help people on the Peninsula understand that all are part of “something greater than ourselves.”

Ozias added, “We ask your help in getting us there. Help us to share in the common cause of the American Dream.”

Also on Thursday were commemorations by the Fairview Grange in Port Angeles, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in Blyn and the American Legion Posts in Forks and Port Townsend.

In Sequim, the American Legion Post commander, Paul Renick, led a somber service that featured members of the newly formed Junior American Citizens club leading the Pledge of Allegiance and prayers for peace from post Chaplain Nancy Zimmermann.

Judy Tordini of the Michael Trebert Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution led a three-part observance on the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a remembrance that included a 21-bell salute, two one-minute moments of silence (one for veterans who gave their lives, a second for those who will in the future) and the playing of taps by the post’s bugler.

Veterans also received special handmade banners celebrating the different branches of the U.S. military from Sequim Middle School students.

Ozias thanked his fellow county commissioners, Randy Johnson and Bill Peach, for their military service.

In addition, he paid tribute to a number of veterans in his family who had served in wars and military action, from a grandfather who served World War II and an uncle who served in Vietnam to a step-brother who served in Bosnia and two active duty nephews.

________

Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at editor@sequimgazette.com.

Post Commander Paul Renick leads off a Veterans Day event at American Legion Jack Grennan Post No. 26 in Sequim. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Post Commander Paul Renick leads off a Veterans Day event at American Legion Jack Grennan Post No. 26 in Sequim. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Carl Bradshaw, 1st vice Commander of the American Legion Jack Grennan Post No. 26 in Sequim, displays banners honoring the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces that were made by Sequim Middle School students. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Carl Bradshaw, 1st vice Commander of the American Legion Jack Grennan Post No. 26 in Sequim, displays banners honoring the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces that were made by Sequim Middle School students. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Samuel Jones, 7, of Port Angeles, greets Sequim veteran Ed Hako at the American Legion Jack Grennan Post No. 62. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Samuel Jones, 7, of Port Angeles, greets Sequim veteran Ed Hako at the American Legion Jack Grennan Post No. 62. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

U.S. Coast Guard Station Quillayute River members assist Forks Mayor Tim Fletcher with raising the U.S. flag on Thursday at Tillicum Park as American Legion Post 106 Commander Gale Bolin looks on. Christi Baron/Olympic Peninsula News Group

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