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Depoe Bay Fleet of Flowers: Remembering mariners lost at sea as well as our fallen military

Depoe Bay Community Center

Depoe Bay Community Center

Coast Guard Color Guard

Coast Guard Color Guard

Fleet of Flowers Headed out with wreaths

Fleet of Flowers
Headed out with wreaths

Wreaths on deck At the ready

Wreaths on deck
At the ready

Releasing wreaths in memory of those lost at sea and fallen military overseas

Releasing wreaths in memory of those lost at sea and fallen military overseas

Coast Guard escort to ensure "safety" of participants.

Coast Guard escort to ensure safety of participants.

Fleet returning to port.  Coast Guard carried no wreaths - limited to "ensuring safety" due to Congress' "sequester."

Fleet returning to port. Coast Guard carried no wreaths – participation limited to “ensuring safety” due to Congress’ “sequester.”
Eva Harmon photo

Click photos to enlarge

Monday’s 68th Annual Fleet of Flowers Memorial Day Ceremony started out as an indoor affair this year, due to a very heavy mist and occasional outright rain. Fleet of Flowers observers packed the Depoe Bay Community Center on the Worlds Smallest Harbor being reminded of why they’re there; in memory of our fallen military men and women who maintain our freedom and coastal mariners who lost their lives at sea. The tradition began after Depoe Bay Fishermen Roy Bower and Jack Chambers lost their lives in October of 1936 during a storm while trying to rescue those aboard a foundering troller.

After customary words and observations and a salute to America’s military and to those who make their living on the sea, the Fleet of Flowers procession slowly motored out through the entrance to Depoe Bay and headed for the spot where Bower and Chambers went down with their boat. There, the fleet released their wreaths of remembrance into a restless sea.

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