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Annual Charleston “Blessing of the Fleet” Cancelled

For Immediate Release: May 5, 2021
Charleston, OR –

Due to COVID-19 and for the safety of attendees, the annual Blessing of the Fleet and Memorial Service which is normally held on Memorial Day at the Charleston Fisherman’s Memorial Garden will again be cancelled in 2021. The service is usually held annually in the Charleston Marina, and honors local men and women involved in commercial fishing and the fishing industry who have died since 1941. Military and Veterans are also honored.

The Charleston Fisherman's Memorial Committee has, at family's requests, added names to plaques in the Charleston Fisherman’s Memorial Garden for 2020 and 2021. Five names will be added to the “In Memory of Charleston Fisherman”: Bill Ainsworth, "Killer" Kent Atwater, Philip J. Gray, Mark A. Gray, and Jack L. Hutchens. Three names will be added to the “In Memory of Charleston Fisherman's Industry” plaque: Wayne James Clemens, Joe Clifton, and Olaf Hornstuen.

Names will be added by Memorial Day, May 31. These eight names will be included and honored at a full Blessing of the Fleet annual ceremony next year. If you have a loved one who has passed that was involved in the fishing industry in Charleston, you can request an application from the Port office in Charleston or the below address for the 2022 ceremony. Please send in the completed request application by March 31, 2022.

Anyone can go to the garden to respectfully ring the brass bell or leave flowers in honor of those who have passed. For more information about the Charleston Fisherman's Memorial or if you would like to volunteer, contact:

Fishermen’s Memorial committee:
PO Box 5882
Charleston, OR 97420

Knute Nemeth: President
Margery Whitmer: Secretary
Bill Elderkin: Treasurer
Kathleen Hornstuen: Member at Large

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