Originally, Memorial Day was created to recognize the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the American Civil War. Today, however, it serves as a day to remember all Americans who have died while serving in the military, in past and present conflicts.
In Camas and Washougal, a number of services and ceremonies at local cemeteries are scheduled to commemorate Memorial Day. Those events are profiled in an article in today’s Post-Record.
Among the most poignant and moving is the one held each year at the Washougal Memorial Cemetery.
This year, the program will be hosted by Past Post Commander Richard Puttkamer, with military honors provided by the Post Honor Guard led by Sgt. of the Guard Jim Martin. The National Colors will be presented by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4278. Guest speakers will include Washougal city councilman/U.S. Army Vietnam veteran Dave Shoemaker and Ray Kutch, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and former Naval flight officer.
Most cemeteries, including Washougal, Camas and Fern Prairie, will have volunteers on hand to help visitors locate grave sites.
While Memorial Day is often looked upon as the start of the summer vacation season, the special day signifies something so much deeper. As Americans who live in a country where freedom is a right given at birth, it is important to take this time to recognize those who have sacrificed to make this and other freedoms possible.