Observances planned Memorial Day weekend in Kitsap

POULSBO — The colors will be presented. The mayor will offer some words. Flowers will be laid on the water in memory of the nation’s Navy dead. A 21-gun salute will be fired.

And Poulsbo will join the rest of the nation in paying tribute to our military personnel who gave their lives for America and Americans.

Poulsbo’s Memorial Day ceremony begins at noon May 29 at the Kvelstad-Austin Pavilion at Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park, on the Poulsbo waterfront.

The ceremony always hits home here.

Of military personnel who claimed Kitsap County as their home, 142 gave their lives in World War II, 16 gave their lives during the Korean War, 38 died during the Vietnam War.

Near the pavilion is a memorial, once located at the now-gone armory on Jensen Way, containing the names of local residents who served and died in the Great War.

Within view of the ceremony is Keyport, home of the Navy base that has been a bulwark in our nation’s undersea defense efforts for more than a century.

The presentation is open to the public.

Other events

May 26: Between 2 and 2:30 p.m., a chauffeured stretch Humvee will arrive at Little Anderson Parkway carrying six or seven veterans from the Korean War and Vietnam War era.

According to Poulsbo City Councilman Ed Stern, the group will be feted at the Brass Kraken. “[They] can still manage to fit in their original issued uniforms,” Stern wrote. The veterans will be feted at several public houses in Kitsap that day, Stern reported.

May 27: Beginning at 9:45 a.m., six deceased veterans will be remembered and honored in ceremony and song at The Unforgotten, Run to Tahoma VIII Celebration of Life at the Kitsap County Administration Building plaza, 619 Division St., Port Orchard.

The veterans’ remains will be received from the Kitsap County Coroner and escorted to Tahoma National Cemetery near Kent in a formal processional including local and regional veterans’ motorcycle clubs. The ceremony is open to the public.

Participants in this year’s event include the Duncan Creek String Quartet, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, Suquamish Tribe, Civil Air Patrol and Citizens on Patrol.

The Unforgotten, Run to Tahoma ceremony (www.kitsapgov.com/hs/veterans/RunToTahoma.htm) is sponsored by the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners, the Kitsap County Coroner’s Office, the Kitsap County Veterans Advisory Board and Combat Veterans International.

Notebook: May 29 is also the 100th anniversary of the birth of President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), a decorated World War II patrol torpedo boat commander. His boat, PT 109, was rammed in 1943 by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri in the Solomon Islands. Two crew members were killed. For his actions in saving the lives of his 10 remaining crew members, Kennedy received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, the Navy’s highest decoration awarded for heroism “not involving actual conflict.”

— Richard Walker is editor of Kitsap News Group. Contact him at rwalker@soundpublishing.com