Rick Eckert, a retired Chief Petty Officer, salutes the wreath after he places a flower at Poulsbo’s Memorial Day ceremony. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Rick Eckert, a retired Chief Petty Officer, salutes the wreath after he places a flower at Poulsbo’s Memorial Day ceremony. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Poulsbo remembers the fallen at downtown ceremony

A large crowd filled the benches and the field in front of the Austin/Kvelstad Pavillion

POULSBO — The wind was unusually calm on Liberty Bay and the mood was solemn. Church bells gently rang out patriotic tunes as a crowd gathered at Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park May 28 to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country.

The city’s annual Memorial Day ceremony, presented by VFW Post 2463 and American Legion Post 245, featured the customary rifle salute, a keynote speech by Mayor Becky Erickson and a selection of music by the North Kitsap High School band.

Folks were also given time to place a flower on a wreath in remembrance of a lost loved one, which was then dropped into Liberty Bay.

During her address, Erickson noted that Memorial Day is set aside specifically for those who went off to fight and did not make it back.

“This is about Memorial Day,” Erickson said. “This is about a day for those that went away — the husbands, the sons, the daughters — that went away and did not come home.”

“This is a day about personal sacrifice,” she continued. “The highest and most ultimate form of sacrifice that people make for us, for our country, for who we are, so that we can live our everyday and extraordinary lives, that we can listen to the bells of the church ring and hold our children, and watch our families grow in freedom.”

Looking forward to the future, Erickson expressed her hope that there would come a day that American lives would not need to be lost, that war would cease and countries would be able to solve their problems through communication and diplomacy.

“Hope for peace and remember those that didn’t come home — and pray that we don’t have more,” Erickson said.

— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at mkrulish@soundpublishing.com.

Doc Casper of the North Kitsap VFW 2463 welcomes the crowd to the Memorial Day ceremony at the Austin/Kvelstad Pavillion in downtown Poulsbo. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Doc Casper of the North Kitsap VFW 2463 welcomes the crowd to the Memorial Day ceremony at the Austin/Kvelstad Pavillion in downtown Poulsbo. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson gives her address. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson gives her address. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson gives her address. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

A salute to the flag. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

A salute to the flag. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

The color guard at Waterfront Park. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

The color guard at Waterfront Park. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)

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