Honoring our past and those who’ve served

Annual Memorial Day ceremony at Pioneer Cemetery was May 27
By Kate Agbayani | May 29, 2019
Photo by: Kate Agbayani The local Veterans of Foreign War Post 2100 salute the flag after being raised.

The sunny weather came at the perfect time as citizens of Mukilteo gathered Monday morning to celebrate the annual Memorial Day ceremony held at Pioneer Cemetery May 27.

The Mukilteo Historical Society hosted the event and featured Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson and the Historical Society’s Margaret Summitt as the keynote speakers for the event.

Before the ceremony began, the Mukilteo Presbyterian Church’s MPC Brass band played music as citizens gathered in for the cemetery, including “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America.”

Summitt wore historic clothes and was in character as Mary Fowler, the wife of J.D. Fowler, one of the city’s founders who is buried at Pioneer Cemetery.

In her speech, Summitt talked about the historical places in Mukilteo that were important during war time that are now all gone. Some of the places she mentioned are the ammunition dock where World War II ships were loaded, the tank farm that held aviation fuel for jets from Paine Field during the Korean war, and the observation tower where volunteer civilians of the aircraft warning service would spot enemy planes and report them to the Everett tower.

She reflected on the accomplishments of those buried at Pioneer Cemetery. Notably, Mas Odoi, a former member of the Mukilteo Historical Society who helped translate the Japanese graves at the cemetery. Summitt also read haikus written by Odoi.

She also mentioned Nathan Fowler, J.D. Fowler’s brother who also helped found Mukilteo, and the first known burials at Pioneer Cemetery, Mortimer Fasset, and the relatively unknown Soldier McAllister.

After Summitt spoke, local Veterans of Foreign War Post 2100 conducted the flag raising. Once the flag was raised there was a moment of silence to remember those who have fallen.

The moment of silence ended with the MPC Brass band beginning to play “Star Spangled Banner” that was soon accompanied by the singing of the citizens at the ceremony.

Mayor Gregerson stepped forward for her part of the ceremony, and began her speech honoring those who have fallen.

“That idea that other people have died to ensure that we can live free is heavy, maybe makes us feel uncomfortable at times, but Memorial Day calls on us to remember these sacrifices and honor in our own way those who have fallen,” Gregerson said.

She continued to talk about the Mukilteo community and how fortunate Mukilteo is to have a community full of doers, volunteers, nonprofit leaders, small business owners, and even local entrepreneurs.

“On this Memorial Day it’s good to reflect on the toil and struggle that have made all of that possible, when those brave men raised the flag over Iwo Jima, they were sending a message that the idea of America would prevail,” she said. “And in a very small way they were also showing us that our own slice of that America here in Mukilteo would continue to be a place where people live in freedom and thrive together as a community.”

Those who attended the ceremony were given “Buddy” Poppy pins to wear.

As the ceremony ended, citizens were free to look around the cemetery. More than 60 people showed up for the ceremony.

 

 

Margaret Summitt, as Mary Fowler, speaking to the attendees of the ceremony. (Photo by: Kate Agbayani)
Mukilteo Presbyterian Church’s MPC Brass band plays music before the beginning of the ceremony. (Photo by: Kate Agbayani)
Attendees looking at a photo near the Pioneer Cemetery sign. (Photo by: Kate Agbayani)
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