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Playing “Taps” for Medal of Honor Recipients at Evergreen Washelli Memorial Park in Seattle on 16 July

Posted by glennled on July 2, 2011

Photo by Thad Westhusing, http://www.thadsworld.net

Until this year, I did not realize that Evergreen Washelli Memorial Park is the final resting place for one Silver Star and six Medal of Honor recipients. The Silver Star recipient and two of the Medal of Honor recipients fought in Vietnam. Another two Medal of Honor recipents fought in World War II, and the other two fought in the Spanish/American War. These wars span 77 years, from 1898 to 1975.

I am so lucky. Just before the conclusion of a special ceremony for the public on Saturday, 16 July, I get to play “Taps” to honor these very special men. It is said that playing “Taps” is the most sacred duty of a bugler. I feel it. The last time I felt it, I was in high school when I played “Taps” at a ceremony in my home town, Sinton, Texas, on either Memorial Day or Veterans Day. I want to feel it again.

The ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. with a half-hour concert by the Washington Letter Carriers Band. Next comes the Parade of Colors at 11 a.m., followed by The National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, and Invocation. The speaker is Major General James (“Jimmy’) M. Collins, Jr., U.S. Army (Ret.). The program concludes with a salute from members of the Washington Army National Guard, followed by “Echo Taps,” the Benediction, and the Retiring of the Colors at about noon.

To pay tribute to these fallen heroes and to thank them and their families for their selfless and courageous service to our country, Evergreen Washelli is creating a permanent marker which will tell each medal recipient’s heroic story. You are invited to attend the ceremony, witness the unveiling of their permanent memorials, visit their graves, read their stories, and see images of the medals received. Their names: Albanese, Horton, Leisy, Nakamura, Bloch, Fadden and Alakulppi.

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