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Archive for the ‘Ceremonies & Celebrations’ Category

Edmonds 4th of July Parade

Posted by glennled on July 15, 2018

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Color Guard, VFW Post 8870, Edmonds, 4th of July Parade, 2018. Photo by Nancy MacDonald.

 

2018, another year, another 4th of July Parade in Edmonds where I live. Each year I’m honored to march with other veterans near the front of the parade, carrying my bugle as VFW Post 1040 Bugler. This year, I got to carry the U.S. Navy flag, too, right behind the Color Guard from VFW Post 8870. As Michael Medved, radio talk show host says, the USA is “the greatest country on God’s green earth!” How lucky we are to live here in this, the best era in human history!

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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Flag-Changing Ceremony on Flag Day at Cristwood Park Retirement Community in Shoreline

Posted by glennled on July 11, 2018

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U.S. Joint Volunteer Service Command Color Guard from Shoreline prepares to hoist the new flag

With love and respect, Elizabeth Hudson takes good care of the flag that flies on the grounds of Cristwood Park Retirement Community in Shoreline, where she is the Life Enrichment Coordinator (please see https://cristaseniorliving.org/explore-retirement-lifestyles/communities/). Three years ago on 12 June 2014, Ms. Hudson hosted a similar flag-changing ceremony at which I sounded two bugle calls, and this year on 14 June, she did it again. Both times it was on our national Flag Day. (Please see my blog post of 28 June 2014.)

For me, however, there was a big difference in the two ceremonies—this year, starting about 30 minutes before the ceremony, Ms. Hudson let me play patriotic songs as the crowd of about 25 residents slowly gathered. Then during the ceremony, I first sounded “Retreat” as the U.S. Joint Volunteer Service Command Color Guard from Shoreline lowered and removed the old, worn flag, followed by “To the Color,” as they hoisted the new flag to full mast on the flagpole. Afterwards, she invited me to play several more songs as the crowd dispersed.

Nice weather, nice day, nice music, nice ceremony, nice flags. It’s nice to be the VFW Post 1040 (Lynnwood) Bugler. You get to do nice things like this for nice people.

Photos are courtesy of Cristwood Park Retirement Community. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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Three “Taps” on Memorial Day In Lynnwood, Seattle, and Mercer Island

Posted by glennled on June 6, 2018

 

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Skyline Towers Retirement Community, Seattle

This Memorial Day was a first for me—I played bugle calls at three different ceremonies, first in Lynnwood (11 am), then in downtown Seattle (1:30 pm), and finally, on Mercer Island (2:30 pm).

In downtown Lynnwood, VFW Post 1040 hosted its annual Memorial Day ceremony at Veterans Park. We used the bugle calls, “Assembly,” to commence the program, “Echo Taps” to honor those who died in military service, and “To the Color” to hoist the flag to full mast at noon. Gavin Itzka, trumpeter, Skyview Middle School, Bothell, played the echo part of “Echo Taps.” The VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard fired the rifle salute, and the Nile Shriners Legion of Honor Color Guard presented the colors. The Northwest Junior Pipe Band, under the direction of Kevin Auld, played six pieces, including “Scotland the Brave,” “The Marine Corps Hymn,” and “Going Home,” paying tribute to all veterans, firefighters, and police officers. Boy Scouts Troop 49 of Lynnwood and Cub Scout Pack 331 of Edmonds placed the flags throughout the park, distributed the programs, and presented the Armed Forces flags as the “Armed Forces Medley” was played through the sound system supplied by Sound Church of Lynnwood. Lt. Col. Dan Matthews, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), gave an inspirational keynote speech. For more information about these organizations, please see:

 

The ceremony at Skyline on First Hill in Seattle, a Presbyterian retirement community, was quite unique. It’s called the “Sparkle Release” memorial ceremony because, as the names of Seattle-ite servicemen and women who were lost in the past year are read by Rev. Elizabeth Graham, the attendees release into the wind brightly colored threads meant to attract birds who then use them in building their nests. “It’s about rebirth and hope for the new life that is to come,” said Rev. Graham. The courtyard setting and the Seattle skyline view IMG_5592from in between the two Skyline buildings are spectacular. The south building is Skyline Terraces, for assisted living, and the north building is Skyline Towers, for independent living (please see my blog posts of 10 Nov. 2016 and 19 Nov. 2017). At the conclusion of the ceremony, I sounded “Taps” on my Getzen bugle.

From there, I hustled across the I-90 floating bridge to Island House Retirement Community in downtown Mercer Island, where about 50 residents had gathered for their Memorial Day ceremony. Sounding “Taps” was incorporated into the program. As I sounded those 24 notes, several veterans in the audience, wearing their VFW and American Legion caps, stood and saluted in honor of their fallen comrades in arms.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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“To the Color” and “Taps” for Fifth Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Edmonds Community College

Posted by glennled on May 31, 2018

 

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March from Black Box Theatre to Boots-to-Books Monument at Edmonds Community College. Photo courtesy of ECC Veterans Resource Center.

 

Memorial Day at Edmonds Community College (ECC) is celebrated on the Wednesday before the national holiday, which is always held on the last Monday of May. And so we gathered on 23 May at the Black Box Theatre for ECC’s Fifth Annual Ceremony—a time to remember those who died while in military service to our country. The event is sponsored by the ECC Veterans Resource Center, led by Chris Szarek, Director. Please see http://www.edcc.edu/veterans.

The ECC Music 119 Class, accompanied by Linda Kappus on piano, sang “The Star Spangled Banner.” Angelita Shanahan, vocalist from the Hero’s Café, led the audience in singing “America, the Beautiful.”

Three musicians performed solos: Toby Beard, bagpiper; Peter Ali, Native American flutist; and me. I sounded two bugle calls on my Getzen bugle: “To the Color” and “Taps.” Peter ad-libbed during the slide show inside the theatre and outside at Boots-to-Books Monument. Toby called the event to order in the theatre with a tune to open the program; played another tune while leading the march from the theatre to the monument; and finally played “Amazing Grace” at the monument.

The colors were presented by the U.S. Joint Volunteer Service Command Color Guard.

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“To the Color” on Pacific Little League Day, 21 April, at Lynndale Park in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on April 29, 2018

 

“Count your blessings, name them one by one,” goes the hymn written by Johnson Oatman, Jr. 121 years ago in 1897. Well, here’s one of mine: I got to sound the bugle call, “To the Color,” for the 7th straight year at Pacific Little League Day at Lynndale Park in Lynnwood on 21 April. I used my Getzen bugle, of course…love it! Five kids from Girl Scout Troops 44193 and 40919, along three Boy Scouts and one Cub Scout, formed the Color Guard.

For articles about past PLL Days, please use the Archives in the left column to find these blog posts:

  • 7 June 2017
  • 19 July 2016
  • 4 May 2015
  • 7 June 2014
  • 26 May 2013
  • 22 May 2012

Here’s another blessing: three photographers shared their photos with me for this blog post, enabling me to present this Photo Gallery of the event. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

Courtesy of David R. Pan, Edmonds Beacon:

By David R. Pan, Edmonds Beacon

 

Courtesy of Teresa Wippel, My Edmonds News:

 

Courtesy of Teresa Wippel, Lynnwood Today:

 

Courtesy of Kimberly Shay, Pacific Little League:

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8th Annual “Wreaths Across America” Ceremony at Evergreen-Washelli in Seattle

Posted by glennled on December 29, 2017

Air Force Master Sgt. Shanda De Anda salutes the wreath on which she just placed a flag (2)

Air Force Master Sgt. Shanda De Anda salutes the USAF wreath. Photo by Alan Berner, The Seattle Times.

On Saturday, 16 December 2017, a crowd gathered at Veterans Cemetery at Evergreen-Washelli in north Seattle to participate in the Wreaths Across America (WAA) ceremony, along with 1,422 other participating locations nationwide. The ceremony is held annually on the 3rd Saturday in December.

Locally, it was the 8th annual WAA event, hosted by the Navy Wives Club of America (NWCA), Totem 277 (Seattle to Burlington), with Lorraine Zimmerman the emcee.
The guest speaker was Col. Anthony D. Babcock, USAF, Commander, 62nd Maintenance Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

At Arlington National Cemetery, more than 75,000 volunteers placed 244,700 wreaths (one for each marker there). It was the largest crowd since the tradition began in 1992. A network of hundreds of volunteer drivers trucked nearly 500 truckloads of  more than 1,565,000 remembrance wreaths to every state in the union.  Other dedicated volunteers committed countless hours to conduct this coordinated event that helps accomplish WAA’s mission to “Remember, Honor, and Teach.” Please see the WAA Official Facebook page and its website, http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/, as well as http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil.

VFW Post 1040, Lynnwood, supplied the Color Guard and Honor Guard (rifle team and bugler). I sounded “Taps” on my Getzen bugle at the close of the ceremony. The Post’s website is http://www.vfw1040.org.

For an 11-photo slideshow with captions by Alan Berner, The Seattle Times, please see https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/seattle-area-fallen-veterans-honored-in-wreaths-across-america-ceremonies.

For more information on both WAA and this local event, please see my past blog posts of:

  • 30 Dec 2016
  • 5 Feb 2016
  • 28 Apr 2015
  • 9 Jan 2013
  • 16 Dec 2011

These photos are courtesy of Alan Berner, The Seattle Times. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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Photo Gallery of Edmonds Community College’s 5th Annual Veterans Day Celebration

Posted by glennled on November 24, 2017

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Color Guard, VFW Post 1040, Lynnwood

As Dr. Jean Hernandez, President, Edmonds Community College (ECC), plans to retire at the end of this year, she leaves behind the thriving Veterans Resource Center (VRC) among the many credits in her education career legacy. This was evident during the recent 5th Annual Veterans Day Celebration at the Black Box Theatre on 1 November.

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L to R: Dr. Jean Hernandez, Glenn Ledbetter, and Chris Szarek, during “To the Color.”

Under the leadership of Chris Szarek, VRC sponsored the event and was touted as a model program for other community colleges. Mr. Szarek is a U.S. Navy Seabee (retired).

Please see VRC’s webpage (https://www.edcc.edu/veterans/) and my posts on this blog of 28 June 2017, 20 July 2016, 18 August 2015, and 17 June 2014.

I was again honored to sound the bugle call, “To the Color,” at the opening of the program. Dr. Hernandez was the Guest of Honor; Jade Jeter-Hill was the Emcee; Dr. Bill Keppler, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) Emeritus, was the Guest Speaker; and the POW/MIA White Table Ceremony was led by Jen Matthews, Director, Black Box Theater. During a slide show of ECC veteran students, staff and faculty, a trio of T.C. Kouyeas, Jr., Chris Szarek, and Kelvin Nesvog, performend “I Won’t Back Down,” composed by the late Tom Petty.

Below is a photo gallery of a few of the people who participated in this year’s ceremony. Photos are courtesy of VRC, ECC. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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“Taps” at Annual Skyline Memorial Walk in Seattle

Posted by glennled on November 19, 2017

IMG_5975What’s it like, when Veterans Day rolls around each November and Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day are fast approaching, to live in a retirement community? If you’ve lost a spouse or child or family or friends or pets, it might be quite lonely. Why not remember, honor, and celebrate those who have passed? That’s the idea behind the 3rd Annual Memorial Walk at Skyline at First Hill, a Presbyterian retirement community in downtown Seattle near St. James Cathedral and Harborview Hospital.

The Memorial Walk is in a lovely courtyard between the facility’s two wings: Skyline Towers (for independent living) and Skyline Terraces (for assisted living). Adjacent is a IMG_5972room where the ceremony was conducted on 8 November. In the weeks prior, residents were asked to submit the names of people they want to be remembered. This year, some 200 names were reverently read aloud to the attendees. Afterwards, people wandered through the courtyard, remembering again.

For more information and photos, please see my post of 10 November 2016. Simply click on that month in the left column of this blog. For the second year in a row, I was honored to sound “Taps” on my Getzen bugle at the close of the ceremony.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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Annual “15 Minutes of Fame” at the Independence Day Parade in Edmonds

Posted by glennled on July 10, 2017

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Lynnwood Community Band plays the famous march, “Washington Post,” at Edmonds Independence Day Parade, 2017

“9-11” changed everything. As we veterans marched in the parade through the streets of downtown Edmonds on Independence Day, the crowd of thousands continuously clapped and cheered. To us on this perfect, sunny, 71-degree day, the parade was a shower of blessings such as we ordinary men and women undoubtedly will never experience for anything else in our lives. We are not sports or rock stars.

I wore my black and white POW-MIA t-shirt—“You Are Not Forgotten.” I carried my beautiful Getzen Field Trumpet, proud to be the VFW Post 1040’s Bugler.

This parade is our annual “fifteen minutes of fame,” and I will drink of this fountain again next year, God willing.

Photos by Nancy MacDonald and Janelle Squires. Please click on any photo below to enlarge it.

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Stories of Sacrifice on Memorial Day at Veterans Park in Lynnwood, 05-29-2017

Posted by glennled on June 29, 2017

Who knows the stories of all the people who came to Veterans Park in downtown Lynnwood on Memorial Day, 2017, to honor those who died while serving in our country’s armed services? And think of all the other stories of all the other people who gathered at similar ceremonies throughout our nation and the world on this special day.

It brings to mind the closing stanza of the most famous war poem, “In Flanders Fields,” by Major John McCrae, a Canadian brigade doctor during World War I:

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Whatever their individual stories, they all sacrificed their lives for us. Indeed, we live in gratitude in this blessed “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

And so it was on this Monday when Gavin, a former trumpet student of mine and a 7th-grader at Skyview Jr. High School in Bothell, and I sounded “Echo Taps” to close this year’s ceremony—he, a Boy Scout with the Bugling Merit Badge, and me, former Boy Scout, a Navy Vietnam veteran, VFW Post 1040 Bugler, now 77, lucky man.

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