Posted by Cathy Bisaillon on May 30, 2022
On Memorial Day 2022, the Silverdale Rotary Club hosted a ceremony at the Veteran's Memorial Park in Silverdale. For years, our club has been maintaining/replacing the Park flags in Silverdale using Duck Race proceeds.  Thanks to Duck Race Sponsors and the public who purchase Duck Race tickets every year, the Silverdale community has a lovely place to honor and remember our nation’s service members.
 
“We are so glad that we pulled this event together," said Cathy Bisaillon. "It was a somber occasion, but with light moments at the same time.” One attendee told us, “I come out here every Memorial Day in remembrance of my father, and today I am not alone.”
 
The day before the event, the Veteran’s Memorial area and gazebo at Silverdale Waterfront Park were a mess, so Silverdale Rotarian Rich Arper took a blower to the area. He and Cathy Bisaillon met at the gazebo at 5:00 a.m. on Memorial Day to lower the flags to half mast, clean and reserve the gazebo, and buy and place the wreath and flowers. Erin Shannon arrived around 10:15 am with the refreshments (seltzers, coffee, cereal bars, apples), and she and Nancy Whitaker arranged them.
 
The event focused on the purpose of Memorial Day with opening remarks pictured below by Co-President Erin Shannon  and a moving speech by Bob Cassis.
   

Below the flags were raised to full mast by Trail Life Scouts and the two men in kilts who happened by and asked to participate,
     
followed by playing of Taps by Tim Littlejohn. The Trail Life Scouts (“Trail Boys”) are not Boy Scouts, but the program is similar. Two (Alec and Noah) were there with their parents to participate , and one Dad, Scout Leader Mark Arvidson, was also there in uniform.  
   
 
  
 
 
Afterwards, carnations were laid at the base of the appropriate service poles to remember those lost. There was quiet fellowship among all.
 
   
 
Below, Rich and Carol Arper laid flowers at the base of the Merchant Marine flag in honor of Carol’s Merchant Marine father, Jack Wright.
     
Today was the first day the new Space Force flag was raised at the park, picture in center on the same pole as the blue Air Force flag.
    

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bob Cassis brought a box of retired flags. Below the Trail Life Scouts folded the retired U.S. Flags and will burn them in a ceremony.
Retired military service flags were draped over the gazebo rails for decoration and for people to take, if they wished.
An estimated 30 people attended, including people who saw it on Facebook, park visitors, neighbors, and Rotarians. Also, the people hauling the boats ashore stopped and paid attention when they heard Taps.
 
Huge thanks go to Bob Cassis for years of service maintaining and replacing the flags year round and ordering the wreath and flowers, Rich Arper for doing cleanup and heavy lifting, Cathy Bisaillon and Co-President Erin Shannon for organizing the event and picking up flowers and refreshments, trumpet player Tim Littlejohn, and the Trail Life Scouts and volunteers who raised and folded flags.