Whatcom County offers several ceremonies and events on Memorial Day to honor men and women who have served their country.
These Monday, May 25, ceremonies are open to the public and free to attend.
FESTIVAL OF FLAGS
Greenacres Memorial Park, 5700 Northwest Drive, Ferndale.
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A special ceremony will mark the 50th annual Festival of Flags and remembrance ceremony at Greenacres, one of the largest Memorial Day events in the region. The event features the largest full-size flag display most people will ever see: 1,700 6-foot by 9-foot flags lining the walkway. It begins at noon with the festival, followed by the remembrance ceremony at 1 p.m. At 2 is a reception with free hot dogs and time to honor the veterans on hand. There also will be craft activities for younger children.
Use the Northwest Drive entrance for parking. Provided seating is limited, so bring a lawn chair if you can.
FERNDALE VETERANS SALUTE
Hovander Homestead Park, Ferndale.
Vietnam Veterans of America will hold a special ceremony at 4 p.m. at the Vietnam Memorial to honor 1966 Blaine High School graduate Rainer Sylvester Ramos. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and his helicopter was shot down in Vietnam in 1968. His death was confirmed last year and he will be honored in a ceremony next month at Arlington National Cemetery. A picnic for veterans and their families will follow at 5 p.m. Monday in the park pavilion; bring a dish to share.
CITY OF BELLINGHAM
9 a.m. at Sunnyland Memorial Park, behind Sunnyland School, 2800 James St.
11 a.m. at Bayview Cemetery, 1420 Woburn St.
The city and American Legion Post No. 7 will host two services. Both include music from the Bellingham High School Alumni Band, the Bellingham Pipe Band, presentation of colors and a gun salute. Father Charles Whitmore, priest at St. Paul’s Episcopal in Bellingham and a veteran, will serve as master of ceremonies. This year’s guest speaker is Sr. Chief Petty Officer Craig Johnson, retired form the Navy. Sonia Alexis will sing.
Each event will last about one hour.
Following the Bayview event, people are invited to a ceremony at Post No. 7, 1688 W. Bakerview Road, for the reading of names of those who have transferred to “Post Everlasting” in the last year.
The main ceremony is at 11 a.m. at City Hall, 435 Martin St., featuring a memorial presentation, 21-gun salute and speaker Rodney Dement, a World War II veteran. After that ceremonies are held at Stafholt Good Samaritan Center on C Street and two Blaine cemeteries before heading to the American Legion Post 86 Hall at 4580 Legion Drive about 1:30 p.m. Events organized by VFW 9474 of Custer.
7041 Vista Drive, north of Ferndale.
The 11 a.m. tribute to veterans includes presentation of colors, the national anthem and “America the Beautiful” sung by Mark Riemers and guest speaker Bo Martin, a Navy veteran and member of American Legion Post No. 154.
Upon entering the cemetery people will see the Avenue of Colors, 125 large American flags in honor of individual veterans, plus 670 small flags placed on graves by the Ferndale Rainbow Girls and the Boy Scouts.
10 a.m. at Lynden Cemetery, Guide Meridian and Front Street. Parking is available in the Whatcom Transportation Authority park-and-ride lot adjacent to the cemetery.
1:30 p.m. at Greenwood Cemetery, East Wiser Lake Road between Dykstra and Huisman roads.
Both ceremonies feature presentation of colors, prayer, a 21-gun salute and recognition of all veterans. Guest speaker will be David Brunnemer, who was an Air Force pilot and now works as registrar at Western Washington University. Local school bands will offer a prelude starting 15 minutes before each ceremony.
In a special moment at the Lynden Cemetery event, a horse-drawn hearse, courtesy of Gillies Funeral Home, will deliver a wreath that will be laid at the Memorial to the Unknowns.
Lummi Island Cemetery, by Lummi Island Congregational Church, 3913 Legoe Bay Road.
An 11 a.m. service will include a flag ceremony, rifle salute and special guest speaker Army Maj. Gen. Collins. After the ceremony there will be refreshments provided by the church.