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Posts Tagged ‘Northwest Junior Pipe Band’

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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2016 Memorial Day Message: “Be an American Worth Dying For”

Posted by glennled on July 20, 2016

Memorial Day is the annual holiday when America honors its war dead. Raelynn Ricarte came to Edmonds, WA from Hood River, OR in the Columbia River Gorge area to deliver the keynote message of this year’s Memorial Day ceremony on 25 May at Edmonds Community College—“Be an American Worth Dying For.” Her son, U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Jesse Atay, deployed five times in both Iraq and Afghanistan during nearly 13 years in military service, first as a platoon leader and then as the lead on a combat assault team. The horror of September 11, 2001, sent Atay to war.

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Raelyn Ricarte, The Gorge Heroes Club and author, “Living the Oath: Warriors Take It, Families Endure It”

Ricarte has earned the right to deliver that message. She vowed to take care of her son’s “dudes” through action, not just lip service. She started sending care packages to troops in the Middle East, using small amounts of donated funds. That eventually grew so much that she founded The Gorge Heroes Club, a non-profit pro-troop group that now sends the troops thousands of care packages.  Please see http://gorgeheroesclub.blogspot.com/.

When you hear or read her stories about the agonies of loss and trials of grief which the families of America’s war dead go through, you understand how she can say to all our citizens, “Be an American Worth Dying For.”

To me and others I know, it was the best Memorial Day ceremony held at Edmonds Community College so far. Everyone on the program spoke from the heart and told their own personal stories. You got their messages. And after the wreath-laying ceremony outside on campus and after Kyle Gaul, Northwest Junior Pipe Band, played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes, I had the privilege of sounding “Taps” one more time on my golden bugle, fading into silence at the end, concluding the program.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it. Outdoor photos courtesy of Veterans Resource Center, ECC.

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“Echo Taps” on Veterans Day at Veterans Park in Lynnwood, 11-11-2014

Posted by glennled on April 15, 2015

Trumpeters who sounded "Echo Taps"

Trumpeters who sounded “Echo Taps”

Why is this holiday on 11 November? Because that’s when World War I ended—at the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. And that helps explain why, 96 years later on Veterans Day 2014, the memorial ceremony at Veterans Park in Lynnwood, WA commenced at 11 a.m.

VFW Post 1040 hosted the event, attended by hundreds of people who gathered to honor all veterans. Participants included Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith, Puget Sound Honor Flight, Northwest Junior Pipe Band, Boy Scouts Troup 49, Cub Scouts from BSA Pack 331, Legion of Honor  of the Nile Shrine Center, and the VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard.

As VFW Post 1040 bugler, I sounded three bugle calls: “Assembly” to call the people to order to commence the ceremony, “Echo Taps” to conclude the ceremony, and afterwards at noon, “To the Color,” to raise the flag from half-staff to full-mast. In playing “Echo Taps,” I was joined by a trumpet student of mine from Juanita High School in Kirkland. Please click on the photo to enlarge it.

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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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