Friday, November 10, 2017
Schools are closed today. Banks and government offices, too.
But it’s not a snow day. And here in the Lower Yakima Valley, it’s not just a free day to play.
Around the area, preparations are under way for a myriad of Veterans Day observances scheduled for Saturday.
Scouting groups are helping to put flags on veterans’ graves. Businesses, residents and cities are proudly flying the red, white and blue. And civic groups are planning parades and somber observances.
The Lower Yakima Valley takes remembering its veterans seriously.
On Saturday, former soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines will march. They will head to cemeteries to read the names of the veterans who gave their lives in the name of freedom. Wreaths and flowers will be placed. And Taps will be played.
Those who survived the atrocities of war and are still with us will also be treated to breakfast and lunch.
In Sunnyside and Zillah, large dedications are planned for the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — the time set aside for Veterans Day observances nationally.
At Jerry Taylor Memorial Plaza on Ninth Street in Sunnyside, two more monuments bearing names of veterans will be unveiled. And on First Street in Zillah, the new Veterans Memorial will be unveiled publicly for the first time.
Local students began their study of Veterans Day over the last week. But just because they say they “learned” about it at a school assembly or in class, doesn’t mean they have personally felt the impact.
Take the youngsters out to the cemetery for an observance in your area. Take them downtown in Sunnyside or Zillah to see how many names of men and women who gave their lives for our freedoms have been etched into the monuments. Explain there are many more to come.
Then take them to Prosser for an old-fashioned Veterans Day Parade.
Take time to explain to the young ones that freedom isn’t free. Remind them that someone “paid” for the freedoms them have today. And encourage them to thank — or even salute — a veteran.
Where ever you go Saturday and what ever you do, take time to personally thank a veteran.