A memorable Memorial Day

A memorable Memorial Day

As over 700 firefighters put themselves in harm’s way to stay off one of the largest wild fires on the Kenai Peninsula in recent history, community members turned out to remember those who had been killed in service to our nation. Three Memorial Day ceremonies were held this year in the twin cities of Kenai and Soldotna. First was a morning parade of flags at the Kenai Cemetery followed by a noon service at Lief Hanson Memorial Park and a 2:00pm ceremony in Soldotna at the Community Memorial Park. In Kenai the Trefren family, Brenda, Sarah, Daniel, David, Matthew and Natalia made a poppy wreath with a poppy to remember each member of their family who had died in military service. “We had ten names in our wreath including grandfathers and great grandfathers, they didn’t all die while serving, but teaching my kids to honor and respect their lives is part of what Memorial Day means to me,” said Brenda Trefren of Soldotna.

At the Kenai and Soldotna ceremony a moment of silence was asked for especially for Alaska State Troopers Gabriel Rich and Sgt. Patrick Johnson who were killed earlier this spring while on duty in Tanana. In Soldotna American Legion Post 20 Commander Jim Herrick looked out at those assembled and pointed out that it seemed like most of the folks gathered were the same ones he saw at all three services, “That makes us feel real good, because today is a day to remember the fallen.” State senator Peter Micciche in his remarks echoed the theme in his remarks, “Your job today, all of our jobs today is to remember,” he said. Soldotna Mayor Dr. Nels Anderson recalled the story of a mentor of his who never talked about the war when he was growing up, but had written down his experiences before passing away. In sharing those writings memories of the Great Generation who kindled a fresh. Also at the Soldotna ceremony Col. James Halliday brought a few brief remarks that honored and paid tribute to who have given their lives for ours and those who will be called upon to do so in the future.

This year’s Poppy girl 11-year-old Madelin brought a basket of wounded veteran’s handmade poppies for members of the community to participate in the traditional Memorial Day Placing of the Poppies ceremony. Herb Stettler read Flanders Field which explains the poppy tradition and Tim Wisnewski played Taps following a combined Rifle Salute. The benediction was presented by Mary Hall who also prayed for rain and the colors were retired by a combined Color Guard.

More in News

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Anchor Point house fire leaves 1 dead, 1 in serious condition

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

EPA logo
Alaska Native group to receive EPA funds for clean water projects

The agency is handing out $4.3 million to participating tribal organizations nationwide.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 6 new COVID deaths

The deaths, which included a Kenai woman in her 40s, pushed the total to 840 since the pandemic began.

Ryanna Thurman (right) speaks to a library employee at the Soldotna Public Library on Thursday, March 25 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna library seeks OK for grant fund purchases

The funds are made available under the federal American Rescue Plan Act

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Kenai man killed in vehicle rollover

The man was travelling northbound on the Sterling Highway on Tuesday.

Cheryl Morse and Tom Kleeman prepare Thanksgiving lunch at the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Food bank opens doors for Thanksgiving lunch

“We don’t know what to expect, so we’re trying to still be cautious on our limited seating.”

Carter Kyle (left), Lincoln Kyle (center) and Brandon Kyle (right) hand off Thanksgiving meals at a drive through event hosted by the Salvation Army on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Thanksgiving on the go

Salvation Army hands out meals in drive-thru event

Bench creator, Brad Hughes, pours the molding material over the clay while Rob Wiard and Matt brush the liquid rubber over each character on the bench to ensure it is covered evenly. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Molds for the Loved Lost Bench are underway

Construction for the memorial bench continues as the rubber molds to shape the concrete are made.

Most Read