While Memorial Day inarguably holds special meaning for veterans and members of the armed forces and their families, it is a holiday that can be commemorated by civilians as well.
On Monday, central Kenai Peninsula residents will have an opportunity to honor servicemen and women, past and present. Organizers hope for a big turnout this year, especially in light of recent world events.
"Memorial Day is more important than ever because our veterans are continually trying to make peace in the world by confronting all these aggressors that are trying to diminish it," said Herb Stettler, master of ceremonies for the Kenai Memorial Day service and a VFW member. "And we need the support. ... We need to keep it alive."
There will be an avenue of flags ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Kenai City Cemetery.
At 1 p.m., there will be a Memorial Day service at Leif Hansen Memorial Park in Kenai, hosted this year by the VFW Post No. 10046 and the American Legion Post No. 20.
The service will include a ceremonial laying of the wreath, a command address, a color guard, the playing of "Taps," a prayer and benediction, the singing of the national anthem, a rifle salute done by the National Guard, and a fly-over by four F-15s from squadron 19 of Elmendorf Air Force Base.
The guest speaker will be Sgt. Theo MacNamarra, public affairs officer at Elmendorf.
Following the service, the local service organizations in the area American Legion Post No. 20 in Kenai, AM Vets Post No. 4 in the Red Diamond Center on Kalifornsky Beach Road and the VFW in Soldotna will hold open houses.
Everyone is welcome to attend the service and the open houses.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski will attend a Memorial Day ceremony at 2 p.m. at the cemetery in Ninilchik. The Homer, Anchor Point and Ninilchick American Legion and VFW posts are combining efforts to hold two other ceremonies Monday, one at 10 a.m. at the cemetery in Homer and one at noon at the cemetery in Anchor Point.
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