Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memorial Day In Unalaska and the Port Of Dutch Harbor

Memorial Day in Unalaska and the Port of Dutch Harbor, was a somber, heartfelt event, as was intended by General Order No.11 which established the Holiday in 1868.

General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868
The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.
We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from his honor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.
It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.
Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.
By order of
Adjutant General

The Unalaska Scouts and Military Veterans started out the event with the Raising of the Service Flags.
And even the Eagles looked on with respect from their perches on Crosses on Cemetery Hill.

The Mayor then started the opening remarks and proceeded with introductions for the Rest of the Ceremony,

Father Andrew Kashaveroff of the Holy Ascension Church, Seen in almost every episode of Deadliest Catch, Began with a memorial reading.
Then John Honan of the Unalaska Christian Fellowship gave another reading.

Then Former Mayor Frank Kelty, Representing St. Christopher by the Sea Catholic Church
And then Council member Roger Rowland of the Aleutian Bible Church.
Emil Berikoff of the Unalaska Native Fisherman's Association read aloud the Fisherman's Poem,
then He and Scout Troop 561 placed a wreath (All Donated by the Ballyhoo Lions Club) to the Fisherman's Memorial. Next up Lt Karen Denny of the United States Coast Guard Recounted the History of the Bering Sea Patrol, and then with her colleagues presented a Wreath to the Coast Guard Memorial

Mayor Shirley Marquardt then Reads the Names of the Unangan Survivors of the Forced Evacuation from Unalaska by the United States Military.On June 3, 1942, Japanese aircraft struck U.S. Army and Navy installations at Dutch Harbor on Unalaska. Following this attack, the Aleut Natives on the island were involuntarily removed to locations in Southeast Alaska until their return in April 1945. Sam Svarny, Husband to Gert Svarny one of the people forced from the Island, Helps the Scouts Place a Wreath on the WWII Memorial

Then the Mayor read the list of deceased persons from the last year while the bell on the Coast Guard Memorial tolled. It was a long list this year and no eye was dry in the crowd.
I actually have a video of the names being read that I wanted to post but Blogger is not letting me today. I will try again later.

Lynda Robinson then Sang "Eternal Father Strong to Save"

And the Unalaskan Department of Public Safety provided a 21 Gun Salute while Noah Betzen and Samuel Winters played "Taps"

Mayor Shirley Marquardt then gave us these thoughts to end the Day with.

It is the Veteran, not the Priest, who gives us Freedom of Religion
It is the Veteran, not the Reporter, who gives us Freedom of the Press,
It is the Veteran, not the Poet, who gives us Freedom of Speech.
It is the Veteran, not the Campus Organizer, who gives us the Freedom to Assemble
It is the Veteran, not the Lawyer, who gives us the Right to a Fair Trial,
It is the Veteran, not the Politician, who gives us the Right to Vote
It is the Veteran, not the Community Activist, who gives us the right to protest,
It is the Veteran who salutes the flag, serves under the flag, and is not infrequently buried beneath the flag, for what the flag represents - a Free People - is more important than the cloth itself.

After that it was on to the Annual BBQ at the Clinic with Miss Veda.
My General Manager Tom Enlow was there Cooking up the Burgers and Hot Dogs
As the People of Unalaska gathered for the Biggest BBQ on the Island.

The Kids all got to play at the Skateboard park
and take rides on a Fire Truck.
Hey Terri!! Kids Only!!!

So although it was a dreary morning it was a great Ceremony and a wonderful BBQ.


Reading said...

what a beautiful tribute to those who made sacrifices for us....the weather may have been dreary but the spirit of the day was beautiful...

Kimi said...

That was a wonderful tribute. Thank you for sharing CB. HUGS

Margrita said...

CB awesome wonderful tribute to all of those who have made sacrifices for all of us and our country. What a great bbq looks like all had good food and a great time. Enjoy your week.

Audreya said...

This made me tear up a little! Mayor Shirley's closing remarks were wonderful. As usual, I find your community so inspiring! While there may have been a memorial in my town that I'm not aware of, it definitely wasn't a community rememberance like this.

Corey said...

Thanks CB for sharing, and I'm going to copy and paste the closing remarks on my fb page if that's ok, i'm going to say where and who i got it from, it was so beautiful and true I want to share it.

My brother is in Iraq right now for the first time so this memorial day was even more touching than ever...thank you again for sharing your memorial day with us.

Carlisleboy said...

Of Course You can always use pictures or Quotes from here! And I believe that Shirley got the quote at the end off the web to begin with. Still a great sentiniment and a fantastic way to end a speech

mamawas said...

I am glad a survivor of the forced Aleut relocation is still alive to retell events he recalls.
Love this community!!

Carlisleboy said...

If they are on the island when you come visit I'll be sure to introduce you. Gert is one of the "great women" of our island as well as being one of the best people I know. She is also an Amazing Artist, her sculptures are breathtaking. I also have to admit a little jealously, she has better skin at her age than I do!!! Just flawless!!

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

God bless Dutch Harbor, God bless the American Soldier, and God bless America -- the last, best hope of the entire planet.


Anonymous said...

thank you.