Memorial Day Memories…


For many Americans Memorial Day is a three-day weekend with family gatherings, bar-b-ques and camping trips to local lakes and oceans.

For many seniors it is a time to remember…

Thoughts for many of us seasoned Americans turn to the family and friends that served in both World Wars, the Korean War, Viet Nam and the seemly never-ending wars in the Middle East.

We think about our Veterans, some of whom came home to cheers and some of whom came home to jeers. And some of whom came home in a box.

My Mother and her brothers served in World War II. One of her brothers died over there. My Grandson was a navy medic in Afghanistan. He was killed trying to save a fallen comrade, one of the heroes who came home in a box.

I am a lifelong pacifist. I have hated every war that the world has participated in since the beginning of time. But I love the warriors.

I detest the notion that we must always choose the youngest and brightest to send off to the wars while the older more experienced generation sits on the sidelines making the life and death decisions that affect us all.

I hate the waste of human life and potential.

That being said I celebrate Memorial Day every year by remembering those who served. I pray for the safe return of those who currently serve and for peace in my lifetime.

I hang flags and banners on my porch to show my respect for those with us and those who are not. I wear the red poppy on my blouse and sometimes, I attend other events that celebrate the battles won and lost by our brave soldiers; many of whom now suffer from mental illnesses and are found on our streets – homeless lost souls who never recovered from their wartime experiences.

Thurston County is very lucky to have great support for soldiers returning home. The Lacey Veterans Service Hub offers Thurston County’s Veterans help to find homes, jobs and mental health counseling among other services.

And there will be celebrations for these warriors this weekend.

Waterside Service:

This event will be hosted by the Thurston County Veterans Council, at 1 p.m. on Sunday, at Percival Landing, in downtown Olympia, to honor members of the armed forces lost at sea. For more information call 360-888-8211.

Take a moment to remember… 

May 28, 2021 - This column was updated to remove an event at Joint Base Lewis McChord that has been canceled. 

June 2, 2021 - This column was updated to remove another event that we learned had been cancelled. 

Kathleen Anderson writes this column each week from her home in Olympia.  Contact her at or post your comment below. 


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