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Annual “Blessing of the Fleet” May 26 In Charleston
Memorial Day activities in Charleston will focus on the annual Blessing of the Fleet and Memorial Service at the Charleston Fisherman’s Memorial Garden, near the launch ramp at the Charleston Marina, at 10am on Monday, May 26th. The service will honor the local men and women in commercial fishing and the fishing industry who have died since 1941. This year the Charleston community will add 11 names to the “In Memory of Charleston Fisherman” Plaque: Robert Allen Clutter, Carole Smith Dawson, Cap’n Frank Fleming, Elmer E. “Al” Jasmer, G. Ed O’Brien, Vera Jean“Jeanna” Saltsman, James W. Veal, Basil G. Warnock, Ralph F. (Buster) Warnock Jr., Chris Wick and Chauncy Woodworth.
Two names will be added to the “In Memory of Fishing Industry” plaque, Mike Erdman and Kristle Volin. One name will be added to the “Lost at Sea” plaque – Robert Allen Partipilo. William Elderkin, the local owner of a marine services firm, will comment about the fishing industry and the fisherman’s memorial, and give opening and closing remarks. The Reverend Richard Katz of the Charleston Community Church will deliver a blessing, and the Oregon Coast Pipes and Drums will perform on the bagpipes to open and close the event. The Coast Guard will provide a color guard and advance and retire the colors. The Charleston Community Church Choir also will sing.
Following the blessing and memorial service, there will be a coffee and cake reception at the Porter Hall Activity Center behind the Charleston Community Church on Boat Basin Drive. A Charleston-based fishing boat will load floral arrangements to take to sea and lay on the water in a brief ceremony. The boat is scheduled to get under way immediately after the blessing and memorial service, weather permitting. The community is encouraged to provide floral arrangements or memorial wreaths, but they must contain only biodegradable materials. Local floral businesses can readily accommodate requests for this type of arrangement. Wreaths will be accepted at the Fishermen’s Memorial and then delivered to the boat.