Edmonds Community College will host its fourth annual Memorial Day Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 24, in the college’s Black Box Theatre.
“On Memorial Day, we honor our veterans and people serving; however, we pay special respect and homage to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” said Chris Szarek, director of the Edmonds CC Veterans Resource Center and retired U.S. Navy Seabee. “All of the names of fallen soldiers that you might find on a wall or those you’ve heard of who have died in the line of duty, every one of them left behind a family.
“Every one of them had a story to tell, and it’s important to honor their sacrifice and ensure that it is not taken for granted or forgotten.”
Lynnwood City Councilmember Shannon Sessions will be the keynote speaker. Sessions served as a firefighter in the U.S. Air Force during the Gulf War, is a member of the Lynnwood Veterans of Foreign War Post No. 1040, and a member of the Lynnwood Mayor’s 2015 Veteran Round Table.
“I am honored to be invited as the keynote speaker,” Sessions said. “As a woman veteran, in particular, and a Gulf War veteran, I think it’s important to let younger adults be reminded of the changes in what our wars and what our veterans look like, and hopefully I can give a different voice to what is typically heard on this day.”
Sessions said her family has a long history of military service, and her husband is also a veteran. They have raised their five children to honor and serve our country and community to the best of their ability and with a happy heart, she said.
Edmonds CC Associate Vice President of Human Resources Dennis Curran will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Curran is a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.
Features of the ceremony include: VFW Post No. 1040 Honor Guard; VFW Post Bugler Glenn Ledbetter; Bagpiper Kyle Gaul; Native American flutist Peter Ali; display of military artifacts from The Northwest Veterans Museum; and artwork, including paintings and sculptures, by local veterans. Mayor Nicola Smith of the city of Lynnwood will also be in attendance.
Members of the VFW will re-create a Battlefield Cross as a symbol of remembrance for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
The Black Box Theatre is in Mukilteo Hall on the Edmonds Community College campus at 20000 68th Ave. W, Lynnwood, WA. For directions and a campus map, go to edcc.edu/campus.
Edmonds CC has been designated as a military friendly school for three years. The college is also home to the Veterans Resource Center, which serves the needs of over 225 veterans and their family members attending Edmonds CC by providing Veterans Affairs counseling and certification, an on-site academic advisor, career counseling, and an inviting place to meet other veterans.
The center is funded by the Edmonds CC Foundation’s Boots to Books and Beyond Campaign.