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Although we know that Memorial Day is about much more than parades and get-togethers, Memorial Day in Peninsula and Boston doesn`t quite seem the same without them. Our annual Memorial Day Parades give us the opportunity to visit with neighbors and friends, who we may only get to see once a year, over doughnuts, hot dogs and refreshments. The excitement of families standing along the parade route cheering and waving as the parade goes by, followed by everyone gathering at the cemeteries in Peninsula and Boston to acknowledge the true meaning of Memorial Day, are valuable traditions that tend to bring our communities together.

However, let`s not forget that this day is truly an important day of Remembrance. Not a day to remember battles or wars, but a day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation.

Memorial Day was officially observed for the first time on May 30, 1868, and now we remember the over 1.2 million American heroes who gave up their lives for our Freedom, our Liberty and our Sovereignty.

The service members we honor today came from all walks of life, but they shared several fundamental qualities. They possessed courage, pride, determination and dedication to duty.

Many of them didn`t ask to leave their homes to fight on distant battlefields. Many didn`t even volunteer. They didn`t go to war because they loved fighting. They just rose to the nation`s call because they wanted to protect our nation and our way of life.

As an important reminder, for those of us who may have forgotten what Memorial Day represents, there are three important days for military personnel:
  • Armed Forces Day is a day that we honor those who currently wear the uniform.
  • Veterans Day is for those who at one time wore
  • Memorial Day is the day we honor those who never got the chance to take the uniform off.

We hope you will take the time, this year, to pause and remember these heroes, and remind your children and family to do the same. Although it is not Veterans Day it is important to acknowledge the Veterans that are currently, or at one time, were part of our community:

George Fisher – the only remaining WWII veteran in our community that we are aware of
Wayne Alvis
Dave Johnson
Lee Spenser
Johnny Johnston
Joe Kovach
Jim Chadima
Gene Kaczmarski
Bob Kaczmarski
Jerry Ritch
Sigmund Wojtkowski
Billy Sneider
Walt Shields
Mike Anderson

It is very possible that this is an incomplete list. We sincerely apologize to any veteran that we may have left off.

Thank you all for answering the call to duty.

Also, it has been our Memorial Day tradition to recognize current and former members of our community that we have lost during the past year:

Dick Fisher - Former Mayor of Peninsula
Woody Johnston
Tom Mercer
Ralph Myello
Val Alexander
Tom Fisher - Navy Veteran who served in the Pacific Theater
Claire Johnston Rodhe
Maggie Kube
Ed Kube
Carol Morris Vincent
Dean Johnson - Army Veteran who served in Korea
Gary Biro
Bob Rutledge
Carl Boodey
Jay Ruoff - Marine Veteran who served in WW II – Former Mayor of Peninsula
Carl (Skip) Pollitt - Army Veteran who served two tours in Vietnam
Chester Balinski- WWII Army and Marine Corp Reserve.
Duane Powers- Army

In closing:
"Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for us, Jesus Christ and the American soldier. One died for our soul, the other died for our freedom."

Jerry Ritch