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Posts Tagged ‘piper’

“Taps” for Wreaths Across America Memorial Service at Evergreen-Washelli in Seattle

Posted by glennled on January 9, 2013

Courtesy of Wreaths Across America (WAA)

Courtesy of Wreaths Across America (WAA)

Last month on 15 December 2012, Wreaths Across America (WAA) sponsored and coordinated the placement of 420,000 remembrance wreaths by almost 200,000 volunteers on the headstones of our nation’s fallen military in 825 locations in America and abroad. At Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, more than 20,000 volunteers laid 110,662 wreaths. This was the 21st annual wreath-laying event.

Courtesy of WAA

Courtesy of WAA

In 1992 in Harrington, Maine, as the Christmas holiday season drew to a close, the Worcester Wreath Company found itself with a surplus of fresh, evergreen wreaths. The owner, Morrill Worcester, made arrangements to have the wreaths placed in one of Arlington cemetery’s older sections where fewer visitors were coming each year. A local trucking company transported the wreaths to Virginia, and American Legion, VFW, and other volunteers decorated each wreath with the traditional, hand-tied red bows and laid them on the headstones. There was also a special ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard, WAA ceremony, Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Evergreen-Washelli, Seattle, 12-15-’12. Photo by Nathan W. Bradshaw, PA3, USCG.

VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard, WAA ceremony, Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Evergreen-Washelli, Seattle, 12-15-’12. Photo by Nathan W. Bradshaw, PA3, USCG.

That started the annual pilgrimage to and event at Arlington National Cemetery which continues today. Others across the nation wanted to participate in their own national, state, and local cemeteries, and so in 2007, WAA was created. The mission of this non-profit organization, now based in Columbia Falls, Maine, is to “Remember, Honor, Teach.”

Lt, U.S. Coast Guard. Photo by Nathan Bradshaw, PA3, USCG

In the state of Washington, 18 cemeteries are affiliated with WAA. The four largest are the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent (23,000+ graves; 15,500 veteran graves and 13,000  veteran columbarium niches); Evergreen-Washelli-Veterans Memorial Cemetery in north Seattle (5,000+ veteran graves); Mountain View Cemetery in Walla Walla (37,000 graves; 2,500 veteran graves); and Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake (550 veteran graves).

At Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Washelli, this was the 3rd annual wreath laying ceremony sponsored by the Navy Wives Club #277. King5-TV again covered the event in a superb report. Please see http://www.king5.com/video/yahoo-video/200-wreaths-cemetery-183725091.html. You’ll see the VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard fire three perfect rifle volleys, hear the post piper play some of “Amazing Grace,” and hear me play “Taps” in the background as the reporter tells the story. For a description of the previous year’s event, please see my post of 16 December 2011.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it. Here are links to the websites of other organizations mentioned in this post:

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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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