As we head into the first three-day weekend of the upcoming summer season, it’s good to remember why Memorial Day is observed. In 1868, it was known as Decoration Day, a day to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers. Now it commemorates American war dead through the generations.
With seemingly simple but meaningful acts, this weekend veterans, scouts and citizens will show their respect for those who’ve served and given their last full measure of devotion. They will clean cemeteries and headstones, they will place wreaths along with hundreds of flags on headstones. They will attend and participate in color, honor and rifle guards. They will salute and sing the anthem of America and offer quiet prayers of gratitude and silent tears. But most importantly, they will remember the sacrifice.
Take some time from the picnics and attend with your family one of many ceremonies being held in our communities on Monday, see list below in Things to Do.
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I’ll certainly be missing my old friend Jim Shepperd on Memorial Day. Through many seasons of my life, one constant was that for over a half-century, every Memorial Day World War II Navy veteran Jim would create a homemade floral wreath and along with his fellow veterans place it in Lake Coeur d’Alene to honor service members who were lost at sea.
With his passing at age 90 last year, some things will just not be the same — but another of Jim’s Greatest Generation, World War II veteran Bud Oakland will be placing the wreath for VFW 889.
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Heidi Rogers achieved fame as the mirror ball trophy winner at Dancing With Celebrities earlier this month. On Saturday she added another trophy to her collection by teaming up with Lisa Johnson, Mary Sanderson and Heather Wichman to win the Women’s Division Championship in the U of I Vandal Scramble at the Hayden Lake Country Club.
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In accepting the Billboard Music Awards Icon award in Las Vegas on Sunday night, Cher thanked her mother, remarking that when she was a girl her mom told her, “you’ll never be the smartest, you’ll never be the prettiest and you’ll never be the most talented ... but you WILL be something special.”
Now 71, with a career spanning 53 years, Cher has had an incredible and definitely special life. She’s the recipient of an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy, three Golden Globes and a Council of Fashion Designers award. Selling more than 100 million records, Cher is also the only artist to have a No. 1 single on the Billboard charts in each of the last six decades.
And she certainly didn’t fit the image or perception of a senior citizen when performing this week, either. Rock on girlfriend!
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Things to Do:
Tonight, 6-8 p.m. Movie Night at the Library, Coeur d'Alene Rowing Association hosts a special screening of the documentary film, Dare to Be. Free and open to public at Coeur d’Alene Library.
Thursday, Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre 50th Anniversary Celebration lake cruise, 6-8 p.m. Tickets: 660-2958 or www.cdasummertheatre.com
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 26-28, at 7 p.m., Immaculate Conception Academy presents William Shakespeare’s "The Tempest" at The Jacklin Arts Center in Post Falls. Tickets are available at the door or at the school, just $7. Info: 773-2312.
Monday and Tuesday Coeur d’Alene Dog Fanciers Dog Show from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. both days at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds.
Memorial Day, Monday, May 29:
At 9 a.m. Coeur d’Alene Veterans of Foreign Wars 889 will hold the Veterans bell ringing and wreath ceremony in the veterans plaza at McEuen Park and the Third Street docks. World War II veteran Bud Oakland will place the wreath in the lake.
Post Falls American Legion Post 143, in cooperation with the City of Post Falls, will conduct ceremonies at Evergreen Cemetery at 10 a.m., with Post Falls City Councilor Kerri Rankin Thoreson speaking.
10 a.m., wreath laying ceremony at Honeysuckle Beach in Hayden Lake.
At 10 a.m. VFW Post 889 will preside over a ceremony at St. Thomas cemetery on East Sherman Avenue and at 11 a.m. at Forest Cemetery near the Civil War statue, with Commander Bob Martin speaking.
The city of Hayden Veterans Council hosts its annual Memorial Day ceremony at City Hall at 11 a.m. with speaker Dale Stamper, national president of Blinded Veterans Association.
The city of Rathdrum and American Legion Post 154 host ceremonies at the Pinegrove Cemetery at noon. Post 154 commander Dee Sasse is scheduled to speak.
At 2 p.m. Pappy Boyington Detachment 966 of the Marine Corps League’s ceremony will take place at Coeur d’Alene Memorial Gardens on north Government Way. Vietnam veteran Jim Smith will deliver the keynote remarks.
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... “that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” — Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address
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Happy birthday today to Richard Wilson, Shirley Galloway, Adam DeLuca, Amy Moffat, Ruth Ware and Michelle Pfennigs.
Tomorrow Jessie Morrow, Lori Moreland, Paul Finman (60!), Toni Schelske, Dick Haugen, Joyce Harwood, Kasey Short, Debbi Long, Brad Cederblom, Sara Houser, Justin Jaworski and Char Carstensen take another trip around the sun.
Putting on their party hats on Friday are Matt Roetter, Fairel Wideen, Jessica Lenz, Dorothy Montgomery, Kim Grout and Rob Brickett. On Saturday Kenny Gabriel, Nancy Herold, Corey Wideen and Greg Gilliland will celebrate.
Shirlee Wandrocke (80!), Tyson Bell, Scott Shellman, Dane Dugan, Donnie Shuck, John Caylor, Melissa Feusier, Vance Ackley and Judy Padilla will blow out their candles on Sunday. Louisa St. John Durkin, Star Shewey, Tiffany Williams, Jeff Pryse, Butch Andrews, Donnie Shuck and Pehr Black have red, white and blue Memorial Day birthdays.
Matt Weaver, Jenny Prince, Justin Curtis, Sheila Spears, Chloe Fleming, Chip Wideen and Becky Bridges will mark Tuesday birthdays.
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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.