Pierce Pioneer

Tacoma Mural Project

Tacoma is a city with a vibrant art scene, from its Art Museum and Glass Museum, to its Musical Playhouse, and the dozens of family owned boutiques and jewelry stores in between. Still, some of the most prominent pieces of Tacoma’s local art (as well as history) comes from its colorful murals decorating downtown Tacoma. 

The murals in Tacoma mix culture, advocacy, and tradition into art and with the help of Downtown on the Go and Spaceworks Tacoma, the legacies and meanings of these murals can be explored and discussed via a virtual 1.1 mail tour.

The first mural the tour shows you is titled Working Forward Weaving Anew, and according to the guides this mural “is designed to honor cultural traditions, the natural environment, and our need for new harmonious and sustainable paths into the future.” Painted by Esteban Camacho and Jessilyn Brinkerhoff with the help of a team of nine Native American artists, this mural was handpainted in only 6 weeks and is part of the Prairie Line Trail Project and reminds us to respect the land we share with others and nurture those relationships. 

A recent mural that was shown during this tour was a solo painting done by Tiffany Hammonds in honor of the 2020 protests, this mural isn’t painted directly on the storefronts and instead was painted on the boards during the protests in response to the death of George Floyd and the ongoing police brutality. In an interview with Chase Hutchinson of the News Tribune, Hammonds talks about the message behind this piece. 

“The message is hope,” says Hammonds. “If it’s our vision, that means we are capable of doing it.”

A more diverse twist on the usual painted murals on the tour was one done by David Long and Al Pikart who took screenshot images from webcam chats and turned them into an art piece drawing attention to the mistreatment of people detained at the NW ICE Processing Center. The words “Queremos Libertad” translates to “We want Freedom” and pushes Long and Pikart’s message that no human should be treated illegally. 

The final mural shown on the tour was a beautiful tribute to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The artist, Nori Kimura painted this mural with four of his middle school students as he said it would be more meaningful to him. It was RBG’s work for equal rights, activism for women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community that inspired Kimura to paint this mural as a tribute to her work and legacy as an advocate and activist.

My takeaway from this tour was that our state is steeped in history and culture and although it may not always be pleasant we must remember it and keep it with us, for me, the art displayed on this tour is a reminder to embrace who we are, who we live with, and where we come from so that we might pave the way towards a better future.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kris Brannon’s SuperSonics Dream

After his death on Feb. 11, Seattle SuperSonics’ superfan Kris Brannon’s impact ripples through the community

 

Seattle SuperSonics’ superfan Kris Brannon, 47, mostly recognized as “Sonics Guy”, died of heart failure on Feb. 11. The news of the Tacoma resident was confirmed by his sister on Twitter, as he will be missed by family, friends and fans alike.

“A sad day for all of us,” said the owners of an investment group working to bring back the Sonics. “[He was] one of the kindest, most dedicated [and] big-hearted Sonics fans ever.”

Known in the Puget Sound for advocating the return of the Seattle SuperSonics, Brannon became the subject of artwork, memes and has written over 20 articles on a Sonics fan website. Fans attending Mariners, Storm and Rainer games were always on the lookout for the 6’5” guy with an afro wearing green and gold.

Brannon had attended over 1500+ events, reminding fans of what they had lost by the NBA team moving to Oklahoma back in 2008. He could be seen holding a sign at every event that said “Bring ‘Em Back!”

With a smile ready and his battlecry being heard over any crowd at games, city council meetings and rallies, he was a presence that could not be ignored. Brannon’s enthusiasm for his team was immeasurable and was a huge part of why people are pushing for the team to come back to Seattle.

Today a mural of Brannon can be seen on first avenue south’s Wall of Fame. The mural was done by Jeff Jacobson and stands next to Walter Jones, Jack Sikma and Edgar Martinez in remembrance of his contribution to Seattle sports fans.

“Thanks for everything you’ve done for Sonics fans everywhere,” said owners of the investment group. “We’ll never forget and we won’t stop trying until we make your dream, and ours, come true.”  

The Meaning Behind Each Pride Flag

The month of Pride is upon us and already you’ve probably seen the beautiful flag colors popping up across towns and on social media. However, if you’re a new ally or a new member of the LGBTQ+ community many of these flags can be confusing. There are a lot of them after all, and each one of them has its own unique meaning. Worry not, for in this listicle we’ll cover each pride flag and the community they represent.

  • The Pride Flag

The rainbow pride flag is symbolic of the LGBTQ+ community as a whole and stemmed from an earlier version of the flag, created by Gilbert Baker, who chose a rainbow for the flag to represent hope and positivity.

  • Lesbian Pride Flag

The original flag for this community was created by Natalie McCray in 2010 and included a kiss mark on the top left corner. However, after facing allegations of transphobia, biphobia and racism in 2018, the community redid the flag. The dark orange represents gender nonconformity; the middle shade of orange represents independence; the light shade of orange represents community; the white is for unique relationships to womanhood; the light pink is for serenity and peace, the middle pink is for love and sex and the dark pink is for femininity.

  • Bisexual Pride Flag

Bisexuality can be described as an attraction to more than one gender, often men and women. Micheal Page created the Bisexual Pride Flag in 1998 to increase the visibility of the bisexual community. The pink represents same-sex attraction, the purple attraction to both sexes and the blue attraction to the opposite sex.

  • Pansexual Pride Flag

The creator of the pansexual flag isn’t known, but this flag gained traction in 2010 and is representative of people attracted to all genders and sexualities. The pink represents people who identify as female, the yellow as nonbinary attraction and the blue as people who identify as male.

  • Transgender Pride Flag

This flag was designed in 1999 by Monica Helms, a transgender activist, author and veteran. Helms designed this flag so that no matter how it was displayed it would always be correct. The pink represents girls, the blue represents boys and the white represents those who are gender neutral or transitioning.

  • Philadelphia’s People of Color Inclusive Flag

In 2017 the city of Philadelphia added black and brown to the traditional pride flag to symbolize and bring awareness to LGBTQ+ people of color. The flag had been created in response to racial discrimination in the city’s gay bars and was donned by Lena Waithe in the 2018 Met Gala.

  • Queer People of Color Flag

During the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, this flag gained traction within the LGBTQ+ community and became symbolic for LGBTQ+ allies of the BLM movement.

  • Asexual Pride Flag[1] 

The asexual spectrum consists of people who feel sexual attraction less than average, varying from none at all, to infrequently, to only after they’ve formed a strong connection with another person. This flag was created in 2010 to bring awareness to the asexual community. 

The black represents the entire asexual spectrum, the gray represents gray asexuality and demisexuals (people who only feel sexual attraction when they have a strong emotional connection with another person), white represents sexuality and the purple represents community.

  • Aromantic Pride Flag[2] 

The aromantic spectrum consists of people who feel no romantic attraction to others or romantic attraction only after they’ve formed a strong emotional connection with another person. The dark green represents aromanticism, the light green represents the aromantic spectrum; white is for platonic and aesthetic attractions, and gray and black represent sexuality.

  • Genderqueer Pride Flag

Genderqueer is a term for people who don’t conform to or act as the gender they were assigned to at birth. The genderqueer flag was made in 2011 by writer and musician Marilyn Roxie. The lavender represents androgyny, the white is for agender identities and the green is for non-binary identities.

  • Non-binary Pride Flag

Non-binary is somewhat of an umbrella term and depending on who you ask it can mean many different things. At its core the definition of non-binary means not adhearing to the traditional male-female binary or identifying outside of it. 

The flag was created in 2014 for people who didn’t feel that they fell under the genderqueer flag. The yellow represents genders outside the gender binary, the white is for people who identify with different genders, the purple is for people that identify as both male and female and the black is for people who identify as agender.

  • Agender Pride Flag

The Agender pride flag was created in 2014 by Salem X and represents people who don’t identify with or connect to any gender. The black and white represent the absence of gender. The gray is for semi-genderlessness and the green is for non-binary genders.

  • Genderfluid Pride Flag

People who identify as genderfluid shift between genders, be it male, female or non-binary. This flag was created in 2012 by JJ Poole to create a flag that was less broad than the genderqueer flag. The pink represents femininity, the white is for all genders, the purple is for both masculinity and femininity, the black is for a lack of gender and the blue is for masculinity.

  • Intersex Pride Flag

Intersex is an umbrella term for people whose bodies do not conform to the male-female binary. This can be having both sets of genitals, a varying combination of chromosomes, or different sets of internal reproductive organs. 

The intersex flag was created by Australia’s co-executive director of Intersex Human Rights Morgan Carpenter in 2013 to create an image intersex people could identify with and join under without depending on stereotypes. The gold represents the reclaimed slur “hermaphrodite” and the purple circle in the middle represents being whole and complete, as well as symbolizing the right for intersex people to make their own decisions about their bodies and genders.

  • Polysexual Pride Flag

The polysexual flag was created in 2012 and lies between both the bisexual and pansexual flags, in being that people who identify as polysexual are attracted to more than two genders but not necessarily all. The pink represents attraction to women, the green is for attraction to non-binary genders and the blue represents attraction to men.

  • Polyamourous Pride Flag

Not to be confused with the polysexual pride flag, the polyamourous pride flag is representative of people in open relationships or in relationships involving more than two people. The original flag was made in 1995 by Jim Evans, who used blue to represent honesty and openness in the relationship, red for love and sexuality, and black for people who had to hide their relationships. 

Evans’ flag also featured a golden pi symbol on the front, the symbol for infinity or infinite partners. Over the years, however, the flag has changed to be both easier on the eyes and less stigmatizing by desaturating the colors and changing the pi symbol to a golden heart with an infinity symbol across it.

  • Straight Ally Pride Flag

The straight ally flag is exactly what it sounds like, for people who don’t identify as LGBTQ+ but support the community. The black and white in the background represents the allies, while the rainbow in front represents the LGBTQ+ community. 

While this is far from all the flags you’re likely to see at Pride this year, as more subsections of the community blossom and grow each year, these are the ones that have gained the most traction within recent history and should be the easiest to identify. If there’s ever a flag you don’t recognize this year, don’t be afraid to ask. You’re likely to learn so much more about the community and how to support it!

Pierce opening for the winter

After a year plus of campuses being closed, there is hope to welcome all students back to in-person teaching. 

An email was sent out to Pierce College staff with updates on current plans for returning to campus and fully reopening no later than winter quarter of 2022. “The full reopening will incorporate lessons learned throughout the pandemic about safety and the needs of students and employees,” Pierce College Chancellor and Presidents stated.

The plan includes a gradual return to campus while the classes remain online during spring term, starting with employees wanting to return to the campus. This would be the start of a larger phased return.

The decision to reopen, made by the governing body of the school, will be in alignment with the guidance of the governor’s office and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health District. The state’s higher education reopening plan, and the COVID-19 exposure control, mitigation and recovery plan, will also help to ensure all safety protocols are met and have a revert-to-remote operation if needed.

Any further updates on plans to return to campus will be given as the evolving situation with the pandemic is monitored. Information on when it is safe for students and services to return to campus will be given to the school’s staff.

The Chancellor and Presidents stated that they are looking forward to and hope for face-to-face interactions soon.

Pierce County enters phase 1 for a new trail in Tacoma

A breath of fresh air is being given to nearby residents of Tacoma and South Hill, with a newly planned trail being headed by Trails Coordinator Brianne Blackburn. Designs have been completed for the current pipeline trail in Tacoma to be extended to reach South Hill, with projections to start construction in 2022.

The Pierce County website stated their intent for the trail is to provide residents with expanded non-motorized commuting and recreational opportunities, while supporting healthy, active living.

“The long-term connection has long been a vision of Regional Trail advocates with the “Tahoma to Tacoma” vision connecting communities from Commencement Bay to Mt. Rainier National Park,” Pierce County website stated.

Pierce County’s pipeline trail will be a paved trail running along the Tacoma water pipeline between 72nd St E and 94th Ave E. This will connect Chapman Memorial Trail in South Hill with the newly constructed trail in Tacoma.

The project schedule started with analysis in Nov. 2019, and will have 3 public meetings in between the process being held as virtual open houses on the Pierce County website due to COVID-19 restrictions. The plan for the trail is currently in Phase 1, which will construct 1.6 miles from 72nd St E and Waller Rd E through Orangegate Park.

A grant application has been submitted for Phase 1 funding and the project is seeking $2.2 million from state or federal aid. All future phases will be planned as resources are available.

In the meantime, residents have opportunities for input and to receive updates on the project by signing up for email updates.

Fort Steilacoom Park: A Wildlife Habitat and Peaceful Sanctuary for Visitors

While the birds sing over the lake, children laugh on the castle and dogs run in the fields, the sound of life reverberates throughout Fort Steilacoom Park.

The park is a peaceful place for visitors to attend, attracting regulars and newcomers from as far as Seattle, Graham and Olympia to its scenic landscape. From the nature trails around Lake Waughop to the dog park and the playground, these areas were most traveled on a sunny Monday afternoon.

Young children play on the castle while parents watch from the grass and benches.
Young children play on the castle while parents watch from the grass and benches. (Photo credit: Elissa Blankenship)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not the attractions that make the park special; it’s the community and gatherings that take place near the picnic shelter. One family mentioned that in the past their reunion was held at the park by the playground, creating a family-friendly atmosphere. The nearby soccer and baseball fields are home to sporty children and after-school teams.

The park features historical barns, a cemetery and Hill Ward, the old housing for patients of Western State Hospital, which you can learn more about in Kyla Raygor’s podcast, "The Roots of Fort Steilacoom". When driving by these areas to the heart of the park, you feel the history within the park’s peaceful environment.

The nature trails are filled with wildlife, songbirds sitting in trees and Canadian geese nesting in the bramble, hatching their eggs into goslings that grow to explore the lake. Along the paved path, fishing docks extend over the water, with shallow gravel beaches for dogs to splash around.

Canadian geese sunbathe with their goslings on the lakeside path.
Canadian geese sunbathe with their goslings on the lakeside path. (Photo Credit: Elissa Blankenship)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canines of all breeds and ages are welcome at the off-leash park, understanding that the animal isn’t aggressive toward humans or other pets. The dog park is separated into three sections, depending on the dog’s size. The dog park stretches for 22 acres, giving owners room to be comfortable while their dogs wrestle and fetch balls. 

Inside the biggest section, handlers can teach their dogs simple agility commands on a small beginner’s course. The equipment shows evidence of weathering and needs to be replaced, but dog owners make do with the available obstacles and practice obeying commands.

Dog owners practicing with their puppies on the small agility course.
Dog owners practicing with their puppies on the small agility course. (Photo Credit: Elissa Blankenship)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While visiting Fort Steilacoom Park, I brought Fenrir, my five-month-old Karelian Bear Dog. He ran around with his four-legged friends, trampled through the shallow water at the lake and amplified my experience as a loyal companion. On our adventure throughout the land, his body language alerted me to every person, sound and animal I might’ve missed without him.

Other parts of the park, like the designated flying zone for drones or motorized airplanes, allow visitors to practice their piloting skills. Unpaved trails with bicycle jumps in the grasslands allow trail goers to take a step into nature, without the windy mountainous roads and travel time to most Washington hikes.

The park is at 8714 87th Ave. S.W. in Lakewood, with a 40-minute drive to the Pierce College Puyallup campus and five minutes to Pierce College Fort Steilacoom. Whether you’re planning to visit the lake, fields or dog park, don’t miss the natural scenery and opportunity to socialize with welcoming visitors.


Fort Steilacoom Park Map


Waughop Lake

Originally called Mud Lake, this body of water was renamed to Waughop Lake after John Waughop, a Western State Hospital Superintendent from 1880 to 1897. When farming became prominent at the facility, workers would pump nutrient-rich silt from the lake onto nearby crop fields.

The Lake Waughop Trail has one mile of wide walking paths that circle the lake. (Elissa Blankenship)
Pierce College Fort Steilacoom overlooks Lake Waughop and Fort Steilacoom Park. (Elissa Blankenship)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hill Ward Memorial

The Hill Ward dormitory, also referred to as the White House, was constructed in 1932 to provide additional housing to hospital patients who worked on the farm. As the building became vacant when the farm shut down in 1965, it was later demolished and the ruins were used to train search and rescue responders. From 2007 to 2009, Hill Ward was restored to pay respect to those who lived and worked there, according to a discovery trail sign.

Trail sign showing the Hill Ward building before demolition. (City of Lakewood)
The Hill Ward memorial after construction.
The history of the park, dating back to 1871, is inscribed in reclaimed Hill Ward building stone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Barns

A farm was established at Western State Hospital in 1871 to provide food for patients in response to state funding decreasing. As the farm expanded to nearly 200 acres in the early 1900s, the barns were built to aid with general farm operations and to house livestock, like cows, chickens and turkeys. Later, medical advancements reduced the number of patients and the time they stayed at the hospital causing the farm to shut down in 1965.

The red barn was one of the barns that helped the farm become self-sufficient. (Jayden Fenske)
Referred to as “The Blue Barn” on one of the trail signs. (Jayden Fenske)
The largest barn, located adjacent to the other barns, was used to aid in farm operations.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Western State Hospital Memorial Cemetery

During the time the cemetery was open from 1876 to 1952, over 3000 patients were buried in graves marked by numbered stones. As the small grave markers became covered in grass, local community members founded the Grave Concern Association who continue to replace the numbered stones with traditional tombstones. 

Patient burial map displayed outside of Western State Hospital Memorial Cemetery. (Jayden Fenske)
Historical monument marking the cemetery along the main path. (Jayden Fenske)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fort Steilacoom Dog Park

The dog park, which opened in 2006, has been named “the best dog park” by various local news stations, like King 5’s Evening Magazine and the South Sound Magazine. This park offers 22 acres of fenced fields and a designated section for small dogs. 

The off leash dog park offers large gated fields for dogs to play in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pierce College Fort Steilacoom Campus

Opened in 1967, Pierce College Fort Steilacoom, originally called Clover Park Community College, held its classes in a former Albertsons building and at various Pierce County high schools. The next year, an official campus was founded alongside Fort Steilacoom Park. Lake Waughop can be viewed and accessed from a paved trail on campus. 

The Cascade building, opened in 1972, was the first building at Fort Steilacoom. (Jayden Fenske)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Join reporters Celine Paez, Jayden Fenske and videographer Kyla Raygor as they interview visitors at the park.

Tacoma Public Library eliminates overdue fines

The Tacoma Public Library is eliminating overdue fines as of June 1, according to South Sound Business News. Director Kate Larson during a press meeting said that overdue fees from missing or damaged items that incurred a charge as far as Jan. 1, 2016, will no longer be owed. 

“This gives patrons who have been avoiding visiting their library due to outstanding charges the opportunity to start fresh,” Larson said. “We hope that this change will let our community know that their library values them and they are welcome here.”

The library had already stopped charging overdue fines in March 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. TPL will continue to follow their new policy, nonetheless. 

There is a difference between fines and fees however. Fees are when the book is damaged or lost, which the library will still oversee. On the other hand, fines are when the item is overdue which is what the library is getting rid of starting June 1. So go visit Tacoma Public Library again!

Washington moving to Phase 3

On May 18, 2021, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that Washington state is moving to Phase 3 and reopening June 30. If at least 70% of Washingtonians over the age of 16 begin to get vaccinated before then, the reopening date could be sooner; currently we are at 56%.

 

The list of permitted activities is on the Roadmap to Recovery. It includes 50 people at an outdoor home event, 50% capacity for indoor sports and fitness facilities and 400 people at outdoor entertainment establishments. 

 

The reopening was recently paused for two weeks, but hopefully it doesn’t need to be pushed back any further. Washington will go back to a lower phase if the statewide ICU capacity exceeds 90%. If all goes well, then Washingtonians should be able to enjoy the sun this summer.

 

To be up to date on Gov. Jay Inslee’s announcements, visit his website here.

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom welcomes new Vice President

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom welcomes its new Vice President of Learning and Student Success, Dr. Ilder Andres Betancourt Lopez, following an email announcement from PCFS’s President Julie White on June 3. Lopez is expected to join our Pierce community come August 2, 2021.

“[Lopez] brings a wealth of expertise to our work to create an anti-racist institution, in order to fulfill our mission at Pierce College: to provide quality educational opportunities to a diverse community of learners to thrive in an evolving world,” White stated.

White further shares in an email announcement a biography provided by Lopez himself, which gives more insight into our new vice president. From his biography, it states that Lopez grew up in an impoverished area in Los Angeles, being born from undocumented, Latino immigrants.

“When Ilder entered Stanford University, he felt blessed but he also wondered how to best maximize the privilege,” White stated. “A career in the community colleges became the obvious answer. It was and still is the nexus of opportunity for many of his family members and peers.

“Throughout his career, Ilder applies an equity and social justice lens to all his leadership decisions. Ilder believes it is not our students that need to change but the institution that can change to better address the issues faced by our students. He has devoted his career working at the community college to fulfill this philosophy.”

Lopez is currently the Dean of Science at Bellevue College, where he has developed and overseen their division’s efforts to provide learning opportunities during the COVID pandemic. Some of Lopez’s work also includes providing culturally responsive teaching and services training to all employees through a partnership with Bellevue College and the national Puente Project.

Pierce College looks forward to welcoming its new vice president with open arms. In due time, students and staff alike will be able to get to know Lopez more personally as he becomes a part of the Pierce community.

Late Nite Take Out Ep. 4 – A Talk About Music, Culture & Life w/ Joshua Riley

 

Episode Description:

In this special hour-long episode of Late Nite Take Out, my friend, music journalist, & fellow music lover Josh comes on the show to share his thoughts & have a conversation with me about Music Culture. It was an absolute blast making this episode with him! I got to find out how well-spoken and intelligent my friend is and truly connect over culture. During our conversation, we cover a variety of topics, such as black celebration, cultural appropriation, racism, trends, predictions, & the current state of music. But not only that, but we also just chop it up about life.

My favorite parts of the conversation are where Josh talks about when he feels most represented in music, & when he and I talk about feeling “othered” by music. We don’t hold back! And, get as honest as we can be. I got to talk about how I relate to music as an Asian American man, too. That felt particularly great.
On that topic, Is black music made only for black people? What is the responsibility of the listener, and artist, when taking part in a culture that is not theirs? All things we talk about in this episode.

Timestamps

1 – 14min.
Introductions, Black Celebration, Cultural Appropriation

14 – 30min.
When Josh felt most represented in Music, artists who push the boundaries, & who is music made for?

46 – 58min.
Daniel talks about feeling “othered” in Music

58 – 64min.
Josh closes up the show!

8 ways to spend Memorial Day 2021

What is memorial day? Why do we celebrate it?

America’s tradition of honoring fallen soldiers is not new to the 20th Century. Dating back to the Civil War, which took the lives of over 600,000 men, citizens have mourned and gathered in remembrance of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Originally known as Decoration Day, General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, founded the holiday on May 30, 1868. During this time, it was known as “Decoration Day” for the act of decorating the graves of buried soldiers with flowers and reciting prayers.

When the country was faced with WWl and WWll, the Decoration Day commemorated the deaths of soldiers from all wars instead of just the Civil War. From 1868 to 1971, the nation honored and mourned on May 30, but in 1971, Memorial Day was established as a federal holiday and moved to May 31.

Today Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and attending parades. It is a time to be thankful for our freedoms, honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives, and to give back to those who serve. There are many ways to observe this holiday, here’s a few to get you started for Memorial Day 2021.

Things to do for Memorial Day 2021:

  • 1. Give thanks to veterans

    Suggest calling a loved one, family friend who has served, or their family and thanking them for paying the ultimate sacrifice. Or if you want to send a letter or package to a soldier that you don’t know, think about participating in organizations such as A Million Thanks and Operation Gratitude.

  • 2. Visit a cemetery

    Pay tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for our country at a veterans cemetery near you. The Tahoma National Cemetery, is a great local cemetery to visit and honor Washingtonian veterans. If you can’t find a local veterans memorial, you can sponsor flowers to lay on a veterans grave through Memorial Day Flowers.

  • 3. Watch a documentary

    To get in the memorial day spirit and understand what our veterans have gone through, watching a war documentary is a great way to learn about our history. Here is IMBd’s Top 100 list of the best war documentaries of all time.

  • 4. Donate to veteran charity/non profit

    To directly help veterans and their families, consider donating to a charity or non-profit organization of your choice. Research trusted groups and determine what cause you want to support, either being homeless veterans, the wounded, their families or those struggling with PTSD.

  • 5. Shop veteran owned business

    Shopping veteran owned businesses on Memorial Day or any day, is an opportunity to support our heroes financially and keep our communities flourishing. Veterans Owned Businesses and Washington Department of Veterans Affairs are easy portals to find a business near you.

  • 6. Fly a flag

    A simple way to pay your respect and show love for America is flying a flag. This could be a large flag placed on the side of your house, or smaller flags stuck in the ground. Here’s a few things to remember when displaying your flag and performing proper Etiquette.

  • 7. Take a moment of Silence

    No matter what your plans are for Memorial Day, take a moment of silence at 3 p.m. local time for The National Moment of Remembrance. Taking one minute of silence to send your thanks and prayers to all who have served and or are currently serving, will remind you of what to be thankful for in America.

  • 8. Get outdoors

    If you’re looking to get outside and enjoy the nice weather, taking a hike is a great way to appreciate America’s beautiful landscapes that veterans have died to protect. Also, get together with family and friends for a barbeque or a picnic to honor our veterans’ sacrifices and celebrate our freedoms in a way for all to enjoy.

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