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Although it's what many people on the Kenai Peninsula associate it with, Memorial Day weekend isn't just about fishing and barbecues. It's a time to remember those who have died in battle for this country. 053011 OPED 1 Peninsula Clarion Although it's what many people on the Kenai Peninsula associate it with, Memorial Day weekend isn't just about fishing and barbecues. It's a time to remember those who have died in battle for this country.
Monday, May 30, 2011

Story last updated at 5/30/2011 - 1:50 pm

Memorial Day: Take a moment to honor our fallen soldiers



Although it's what many people on the Kenai Peninsula associate it with, Memorial Day weekend isn't just about fishing and barbecues. It's a time to remember those who have died in battle for this country.

Originally called Decoration Day, the holiday was first widely observed on May 30, 1868, to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers.

In 1966, the federal government, under the direction of President Lyndon Johnson, declared Waterloo, N.Y., the official birthplace of Memorial Day. They chose Waterloo -- which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866 -- because the town made Memorial Day an annual, communitywide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.

Today, Memorial Day is celebrated at Arlington National Cemetery with a ceremony in which a small American flag is placed on each grave.

Also, it is customary for the president or vice president to give a speech honoring the contributions of the dead and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Communities across the country, including those on the Kenai Peninsula, take part in annual events to commemorate the day.

The AMVETS Post No. 4 in Soldotna will host this year's Memorial Day services, held in Kenai.

Services start at 11 a.m. in with the posting of the "Avenue of Flags" in the Kenai City Cemetery.

A memorial service will then be held at 1 p.m. in the Leif Hansen Memorial Park in Kenai, co-organized by the American Legion Post No. 4 in Kenai, AMVETS, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 10046 in Soldotna and the 40 and 8 in Kenai.

Our fallen soldiers have fought for so much throughout the years, and their dedication has given us the freedoms we enjoy today. We encourage you to take a moment to remember them and the reason for this holiday.





THE REC GUIDE

WINTER ACTIVITIES

If you think the Kenai Peninsula is beautiful in the summer, you should see it when cloaked under a thick blanket of white with the aurora borealis rippling through the celestial canopy above.

BERRIES OF THE KENAI PENINSULA

Whether intentionally seeking berries for jellies and jams or just out for a casual hike, residents and visitors will find the 50-some varieties of wild berries in Alaska hard to resist.

COMMON SENSE SURVIVAL

There’s adventure and beauty in the wild country, but also an element of risk.



2010 Peninsula Clarion award winners

Best Education Reporting
1st Place – Dante Petri, “All under one roof

Suzan Nightingale Award: Best Columnist

2nd Place – Will Morrow, “Voices of the Clarion”

Best Sustained Coverage

3rd Place – Dante Petri, “Mt. Redoubt Eruption”

Best News Photo

3rd Place – M. Scott Moon, “Bear Rescue

Best Photo Portrait
3rd Place – M. Scott Moon, “Ear Gauger

Best Audio Slideshow
2nd Place – M. Scott Moon, “Learning to ski

Best Use of Story and Photos by a Journalist
2nd Place – Joseph Robertia, “Dipnet disaster averted

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