Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of the word “sailors.”
Those looking to celebrate members of the military on Memorial Day will have several places to turn Monday.
In accordance with a time-honored tradition, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Amvet organizations will combine forces and resources to provide activities in the central Kenai Peninsula.
The Avenue of Flags will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the Kenai City Cemetery, followed by a memorial service beginning at noon at the Leif Hansen Memorial Park. For those in Soldotna, there will be a tribute to fallen soldiers and sailors at 2 p.m. at the Community Memorial Park. The American Legion will also host and open house following other Memorial Day activities.
“It’s an honor to be able to do this every year,” said VFW Post Commander Anne Toutant.
Toutant said the turnout to these events each year is generally good and the community really enjoys that they are provided.
Jim Pound, Amvets post commander, said the organization coming together with the VFW and American Legion to put on Memorial Day activities makes sense in terms of combining manpower and resources.
“It’s one of those things where we all have a common goal which is to support our veteran community,” Pound said.
Attendance at Memorial Day events has reached up to 200 in the past, he said. With any luck — and some good weather — Pound said he is hopeful for a similar showing this year.
While tradition is the main tenant of the day, veterans from Wasilla and Anchorage will bring a little something new to this year’s celebration, Pound said.
The veterans are traveling down and bringing motorcycles with them in order to do a presentation as part of the color guard, Pound said.
Pound said it is important for area residents to be able to celebrate Memorial Day with events that honor veterans in addition to enjoying the long weekend with their families.
“That’s what Memorial Day us about. It’s certainly not about sales or anything else,” Pound said. “It’s a day to stop and remember, even if it’s just for a minute, to remember why you’re not at work today.”
Reach Megan Pacer at firstname.lastname@example.org.