Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

 
 

By Kevin Ward 

Vets, residents honor nation's fallen soldiers

 


Around 70 people gathered at the Jones Point Cemetery Monday for a moment of remembrance and appreciation for fallen servicemen and women.

Vietnam veterans Gene Strong and Mike Case started the Memorial Day ceremony by reciting a prayer and the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae.

After a moment of silence for all troops, Case discussed the importance of Memorial Day and acknowledged some of Haines’ own veterans, including ones who fought in the South Pacific and Pearl Harbor.

“I hope people stop seeing this as just another day you don’t have to work or go to school,” said Case. “I hope they realize that it is a day to honor and remember those who have fallen for our freedom.”

The ceremony highlighted some recent accomplishments by veterans, including pending construction of a veterans’ home here and local participation in making March 28 the official Vietnam Veterans Day in the state of Alaska.

The ceremony concluded with “Taps,” as people walked around the cemetery observing and decorating the graves of Haines veterans.

“It’s refreshing to honor the soldiers of our past, and to remember the ones who fought beside me,” said Gene Strong. “Freedom is a beautiful thing, but freedom isn’t free.”