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Posts Tagged ‘Gold Star Mothers Club’

VFW Post 1040 Hosts Memorial Day Ceremony at Veterans Park, Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on June 19, 2014

photo from phoneOn 26 May, when we arrived at Veterans Park in downtown Lynnwood near the public library, the flag of the United States was at half mast. It remained there only until noon, when it was raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The symbolism of this is for us, the living, to remember and honor those who came before and sacrificed their all, while we resolve to continue the fight for libery and justice for all…that they shall not have died in vain. That’s part of America, the beautiful.

Many attendees at this year’s ceremony said it was the best ever. For example, the Northwest Junior Pipe Band, under the direction of Kevin Auld, are getting so good that they are fund-raising in order to compete in the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland in 2015. Please see http://www.nwjpb.org and http://www.theworlds.co.uk. At this ceremony, they played “Scotland, the Brave,” “The Rowan Tree,” “God Bless America,” and “Amazing Grace.”

Service flag, WWII-era, indicating three family members in military service, one of whom died during the war

Service flag, WWII-era, indicating three family members in military service, one of whom died during the war

A special wreath was laid this year by Myra Rintamaki, a Gold Star mother, in honor of the fallen. Her son, Cpl. Stephen Rintamaki, US Marine Corps, was killed in action in Iraq on 16 September 2004. The Gold Star Mothers Club is comprised of such mothers. Its origin comes from World War I, which the USA entered in 1917. George Vaughn Seibold, 23, an American, flew British planes with the 148th U.S. Aero Squadron of the British Royal Flying Corps. That prompted his mother, Grace Darling Seibold, to do community service, visiting returning servicemen in hospitals in the Washington, D.C. area. Suddenly, his letters stopped, and on 11 October 1918, George’s wife in Chicago received a box marked, “Effects of deceased Officer 1st Lt. George Vaughn Seibold.” He’d been killed in action in an air battle on 26 August. His body was never identified.

Gold Star Mothers stamp, a commemorative issue in 1948

Gold Star Mothers stamp, a commemorative issue in 1948

Grace organized a group of grieving mothers whose sons had lost their lives in military service. During that war, families of service members displayed a banner, known as a service flag, in a window of their homes. The banner is defined as a white field surrounded by a red border. A blue star on the white field represents each family member serving in the Armed Forces of the USA during time of war or hostilities. A gold star represents a family member who died during service, regardless of the cause. On 4 June 1928, twenty-five mothers established the national organization, American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. It continues to operate today, commonly known as the Gold Star Mothers Club. To learn more, please see http://www.goldstarmoms.com and http://www.goldstarmoms.com/Depts/WA_ID_OR_AK/WashChapt/WashChapt.htm.

Photos by Nancy MacDonald. To enlarge a photo, simply click on it.

 

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Bugle Calls at Memorial Day Ceremony, Edmonds Community College

Posted by glennled on June 17, 2014

Veterans Monument, Edmonds Community College

“From Boots to Books,” Veterans Monument, Edmonds Community College

On 21 May, Edmonds Community College (ECC) held a ceremony to honor those who died during military service–that’s what Memorial Day is all about. As an Honor Guard member of VFW Post 1040, I was fortunate to be a participant. I’m the post bugler, and I got to sound three bugle calls: “Assembly,” “To the Color,” and “Taps.”

Chris Szarek arranged the impressive, dignified program. Chris is the first director of the X-DSC_0196 (2) Veterans Resource Center at ECC, which was established in 2012, to “assist veterans in navigating enrollment, help them access educational and financial benefits, and offer other resources while veterans attend college.” The program started in the Black Box Theatre in Mukilteo Hall, shifted outdoors to the bronze monument entitled “From Boots to Books,” and concluded with a flag-lowering ceremony at the flag plaza. Incidentally, the monument was unveiled in June, 2010.

The guest speaker was Michael G. Reagan, a Vietnam veteran and local artist who has drawn portraits of ~3800 fallen military men and women as part of his Fallen Heroes Project. Please see my post of 19 November 2011 (find it in the Archives in the left-hand column) and his website, http://www.fallenheroesproject.org. Reagan has helped raise more than $10 million for a long list of charities.

Leonard Martin, Guest of Honor, U.S. Army veteran of WW II

Leonard Martin, Guest of Honor, U.S. Army veteran of WW II

 

The Guest of Honor at the ceremony was Leonard Martin (89) of Snohomish, WA. As a corporal in the 104th Infantry Division, “The Timberwolves,” U.S. Army, he landed at Utah Beach in Normandy, in September, 1944. They fought their way up to Holland, and he was captured on 31 October 1944. He spent the next six months as a POW in a German camp. He was liberated on 13 April, and V-E Day came on 8 May 1945.

Dr. Jean Hernandez, President, Edmonds Community College

Dr. Jean Hernandez, President, Edmonds Community College

Another featured speaker was Dr. Jean Hernandez, president of ECC since January, 2011. How different is that from 1967-69! That’s when, as a Vietnam veteran, I was an Assistant Professor of Naval Science at the University of Washington, teaching NROTC on campus. The UW president would never have spoken at one of our memorial ceremonies. This was the time of violent campus protests about the Vietnam War. In fact, on 18 September 1968, I came to work and found that Clark Hall had been the target of an arson fire–someone had attempted to burn down the NROTC building! The fire did about $100,000 in damage.

So, thanks to Dr. Hernandez and others, there is a Veterans Resource Center and a veterans monument at ECC, and on this 21 May, she spoke eloquently about Memorial Day. I hope this ceremony is an annual event.

Photos are courtesy of the Veterans Resource Center at ECC. Some were taken by Todd Clayton and others by Susie Beresford. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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