The following is written by Sumner Mayor Dave Enslow:
We’ve all heard the “it takes a village” phrase for raising children. Really, it also takes a “village” to do anything really great. On Monday morning, I was at the VFW’s Memorial Day ceremony at our cemetery. This may seem like a standard, recurring ceremony, but it’s an valuable celebration that takes many different people from all walks of life. Honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice is part of what brings us together as a community and illustrates our values.
First, there’s our cemetery crew who did an excellent job, as always, making the grounds look particularly beautiful for this special weekend. Then, there’s the Sumner VFW Post, who coordinates this event every year, and I believe this was our 70th year to hold this celebration. And for the 70th year, the ceremony included a reading of all the names of those buried in Sumner who lost their lives during battle. With each name, a member of the Rainbow Girls places a flower at the memorial.
To these very long-standing traditions, we added new partners from outside our community. Our connector unit at JBLM, the 13th CSSB participated greatly in the ceremony, with LTC James J. Zacchino, Jr. speaking. LTC Zacchino has served for nearly 20 years in campaigns that include Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. We also heard from Congressman Denny Heck. It struck me how a very local ceremony also has connections across the country and even the world through so many people participating.
And finally, there’s you. Whether you helped us set out the flags, attended the service, stopped by the cemetery or simply remembered to pause a moment, you are the action of “Memorial Day” because it is your act of remembering those we lost in combat that makes this day special.