Veterans Day ceremonies set on Peninsula

First major observance today

The first of the North Olympic Peninsula’s major Veterans Day observances will be today.

Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Northwest will host a service in honor of the only SeaBee to be given the Medal of Honor, Marvin G. Shields, at 10:30 a.m. today. The service will be at Shields’ gravesite in the Gardiner Cemetery on Gardiner Cemetery Road.

Shields, a Port Townsend native, received the award posthumously for his actions near Dong Xoai, Vietnam, on June 9, 1965.

Having been wounded himself, he carried a critically wounded man to safety and helped to knock out an enemy machine gun emplacement before suffering a third wound, this one fatal.

He was 25.

Canceled event

A regional event that has drawn thousands in the past has been canceled again this year. Amid continuing concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the Clallam County Veterans Association will not conduct what typically has been the largest observance of Veterans Day on the Peninsula. The annual service in the hangar at Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles will not be observed this year. It also was canceled in 2020 because of health concerns.

Other ceremonies are planned Thursday, on Veterans Day, in Port Angeles, Sequim, Blyn, Forks and Port Townsend.

Drive-through event

PORT ANGELES — The Fairview Grange will host Drive-through Appreciation from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday. The grange invites veterans to drive through its parking lot, at 161 Lake Farm Road, and receive a small token of appreciation for their military service.

Jack Grennan post

SEQUIM — The American Legion’s Jack Grennan Post 62 and the Michael Trebert chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will co-host a Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Thursday. The ceremony will be at the legion hall, 107 E. Prairie St.

The short program includes ringing a replica of the Liberty Bell, comments by Clallam County Commissioner Mark Ozias, an observance of two minutes of silence and will close with a rendition of Taps. The public is invited to the free ceremony.

Balloon rides

SEQUIM — Captain-Crystal Stout will offer free tethered balloon rides to veterans from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday.

The flights will take place in the Dream Catcher, with an ADA-compliant basket, tethered at Sinclair Place, 680 W. Prairie St. Seats are first-come, first-served, and rides depend on safe weather conditions. For more information, visit dreamcatcherballoon.org.

Native veterans

BLYN — The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe will host a Veterans Day ceremony to honor native veterans at 11 a.m. Thursday. The service is planned for the Jamestown Veterans Memorial, located east of the tribe’s administration building at 1033 Old Blyn Highway. Attendees should RSVP to Albert Fletcher, 360-434-4056, so he can plan for sufficient facilities in case of rain.

Forks ceremonies

FORKS — Post 106 will perform two ceremonies on Veterans Day.

At 9 a.m., American Legion Post 106 will present a new American flag and POW flag to the City of Forks in honor of all veterans and their families.

At 11 a.m., the American Legion will conduct a ceremony at the Gold Star Families Memorial, Forks Transit Center, in honor of all veterans, living and deceased, and their families who have also sacrificed.

Legion ceremony

PORT TOWNSEND — Cub Scout Pack 4479 will join with the American Legion’s Marvin G. Shields Post 26 to observe Veterans Day at 11 a.m. Thursday.

The ceremony is at the legion hall, 209 Monroe St.

Cub Scouts are encouraged to attend in uniform.

One event is planned Saturday. The Port Townsend Elks Lodge will host its 10th Veterans Dinner and Auction. The annual meal will be served at the lodge, 555 Otto St. Cocktails will be served at 4:30 p.m., dinner at 5 p.m. and the auction will begin at 6 p.m.

The meal, which includes lasagna, salad, garlic bread and dessert, costs $20 per person. For more information, call the lodge at 360-531-4162.

Tomb of Unknown Solider

This year, Veterans Day also marks the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which was dedicated on Nov. 11, 1921, in the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to represent the deceased U.S. service members whose remains were never identified.

The marble tomb contained the body of an unidentified U.S. soldier who had died in France during WWI.

Today, 4,723 unknown soldiers who died in battles dating to the Civil War are buried, along with more than 400,000 other war veterans.

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