Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

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Posts Tagged ‘American Legion’

“Taps” for WWII Navy Veteran at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent

Posted by glennled on February 5, 2013

Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, WA, view of Mt. Rainier

Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, WA, view of Mt. Rainier

As of now, I have played “Taps” 50 times at various veterans’ memorials and funerals in the Greater Seattle area. The latest veteran so honored was Richard Louis Larson (1927-2013), whose cremated remains were inurned at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent on 2 February.

A U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, Richard was renown for his life-long, kind service of others. After he heard me sound “Taps” at a Veterans Day ceremony, he told me he had been a bugler aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Shangri-La (CV-38), where he served from 1945-48 while I was a boy in Texas. According to his memorial service program, Richard saw the first jet airplanes launch from and land on a carrier deck. When that ship crossed the equator, he entered King Neptune’s Realm and

USS Shangri-La (CV-38) underway in the Pacific, crew paraded on flight deck, 17 August 1945, just after V-J Day. U.S. Navy photo.

USS Shangri-La (CV-38) underway in the Pacific, crew paraded on flight deck, 17 August 1946, almost exactly one year after V-J Day. U.S. Navy photo.

was transformed through an old Navy tradition from a pollywood to a shellback. I later learned from Brian Seguin, a fellow VFW and American Legion member with Richard, that in 1946, he participated in Operations Crossroads, during which atomic bombs were tested at the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. In September 2011, Brian escorted Richard on his Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. (see www.honorflight.org).  That’s when Brian learned that Richard carried a small Bible, given to him by his parents when he entered the Navy at age ~17.

Richard also was a talented poet and musician. He played cornet, trombone, baritone, and drums in Salvation Army bands. For 35 years, his father had been a chaplain for the Salvation Army men’s service department for alcoholics, helping men rebuild their lives. Richard met Lillian at a Salvation Army camp, and they were married 62 years. Richard often volunteered for the Salvation Army’s Emergency Canteens. And he loved to attend Salvation Army band concerts (see my blog post of 3 June 2012).

He had many more laudable qualities and accomplishments than I have mentioned here—he was special, a man of deep Christian faith and practice, a servant of others. It is blessing to me to sound “Taps” for such men.

Please click on either photo to enlarge it.

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“Taps” and “To the Color” at Memorial Day Ceremony at Veterans Park, Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on June 2, 2012

“Taps” by Glenn Ledbetter, VFW Post 1040 Bugler. (by Nancy MacDonald)

Clearly, someone carefully chose the rhododendron species at Veterans Park in Lynnwood where the Memorial Day ceremony was held on Monday, 28 May—the dark pink flowers were still in full bloom as two wreaths were laid in honor of those American military men and women who died during our wars.

Martin Spani, Commander of Post 1040 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Lynnwood, emceed the ceremony which featured the Northwest Junior Pipe Band, singer Garret Lloyd King, and guest speaker, Lt. Col. Joseph S. Jimenez, U.S. Army (Ret.). The memorial wreaths were laid by Richard Larson, USN, WWII, of Lynnwood American Legion Post 37, and Art Clemente, USMC, WWII, Lynnwood VFW Post 1040. Boy Scouts of America, Lynnwood Troup 49, assisted by placing the flags in the park and distributing the programs. A crowd of almost 225 attended under an overcast sky.

Ray Colby, VFW Post 1040 Piper, plays “God Bless America.” (by Chaplain Mary Sjoberg)

The pipe band played “Green Hills,” “Battles Ore,” and “Amazing Grace.” Ray Colby, a Navy World War II veteran and the VFW Post 1040 piper, played “God Bless America.” After the rifle salute by the VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard, the post bugler (me) sounded “Taps.” Throughout the ceremony, the American flag flew at half-mast. At twelve noon, I played the bugle call, “To the Color,” as the flag was hoisted to full-mast by the post’s Color Guard.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it. Photographers’ names appear in parentheses after the captions of the respective photos. Incidentally, Chaplain Mary Sjoberg is a member of the U.S. Corps of Chaplains (USCOC)—see https://sites.google.com/site/unitedstatescorpsofchaplains/Home

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