VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Cities all across the country are hosting Memorial Day ceremonies today to honor the sacrifice of those who fought for our country.
Surfers at the Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic took a moment to pause and honor fallen servicemembers with a Memorial Day paddle-out at the Oceanfront.
This is a tribute to the life and legacy of people who passed away.
Wes Laine helps organize the tribute every year.
“It is to memorialize and to recognize all of the military and their contributions to all of us here in Virginia Beach and all over the globe. We feel like it’s important to have that as an integral part of our event,” said Laine.
In the water, there was a moment of silence and a prayer. Paddlers form a circle and spread flowers.
This year, Cmdr. Tucker Pavlik joined the circle.
“It’s a really neat [way] to get the whole community together to support those who have given their lives for our country. We really appreciate it,” said Pavlik.
Pavlik is from Virginia Beach and currently serves on the USS Tortuga.
“With over 27 years [of service] I lost a few friends, a few shipmates,” he said.
He says the paddle-out allows him to reflect on their life and legacy. Pavlik also won the new military surf contest.
“This was the first year they did it,” he said.
Next year, Laine would like to have more military members from all branches join the contest and memorial day paddle out.
“It’s really important to us because so many of us are involved in one branch of the military here in Tidewater, it is super important to recognize all of those groups and have them as part of our event. We love having them,” Laine said.