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Posts Tagged ‘To the Color’

Six Bugle Calls at Memorial Day, D-Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day Ceremonies at Shoreline Veterans Recognition Plaza

Posted by glennled on July 29, 2020

Veterans Recognition Plaza, Shoreline, WA
On Flag Day, Dwight N. Stevens, WWII veteran, was honored with a wreath as his son, Larry Stevens, holds his hand over his heart. “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” was played, the Honor Guard (background) fired three volleys, and “Taps” was sounded. Photo by Denise Frisino.

During a recent six-week span, Shoreline City Hall was the scene of four major military ceremonies held outdoors at the adjacent Veterans Recognition Plaza which was dedicated on 21 May 2016. The ceremonies were organized and led by a Shoreline resident, Major General Ray Coffey, United States Volunteer Joint Service Command (USVJSC)

  • 25 May – Memorial Day
  • 6 June – D-Day
  • 14 June – Flag Day and 246th birthday of U.S. Army
  • 4 July – Independence Day and 244th birthday of USA

Participating in these ceremonies reminded me that, of course, the Army was formed before the United States became an independent nation. We had to fight a war to win independence. On 14 June 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the enlistment of riflemen to serve the United Colonies for one year. On the next day, George Washington was chosen as Commander-in-Chief and assigned the rank of General.

Major participants in the various ceremonies included members of the USVJSC, U.S. Army Reserve Command, U.S. Army Recruiting Command, VFW Post 3348 (Shoreline), VFW Post 1040 (Lynnwood), American Legion Post 0227 (Shoreline), NW Junior Pipe Band, Boy Scout Troop 312 (Edmonds), and veterans of all five military branches.

When called upon, the Honor Guard of VFW Post 1040 fired the three-volley salutes at these ceremonies. Likewise, when called upon, I sounded up to six bugle calls: Assembly, To the Color, Adjutant’s Call, Flourish for Review (“Ruffles”), Taps, and Echo Taps. On 4 July, a Boy Scout who has earned the Bulger Merit Badge sounded both Echo Taps with me and To the Color (solo). I used my Getzen bugle, and he used his trumpet. He is now an 8-grader at Madrona School in Edmonds and sounds Taps with the VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard at funeral services. Symphony Aimes sang “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America” at the Independence Day ceremony.

Please click to enlarge a photo.

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“Taps” for Veterans Day Ceremony at Cottage Lake Elementary School in Woodinville

Posted by glennled on December 11, 2019

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Annually, Cottage Lake Elementary School (CLES) in Woodinville presents an exceptional Veterans Day Ceremony, and for the second year in a row, I had the privilege of sounding “Taps” near the end of the program on 12 November. That was immediately followed by the flag-folding ceremony. Brigadier General Raymond W. Coffey, U.S. Army Volunteer Reserve (USAVR), who was emcee of and principal speaker at the ceremony, read a script explaining the symbolic meaning of each of the 13 folds. Please see https://www.ushistory.org/betsy/more/folds.htm.

The principal of CLES is Jennifer Welch, and the chief organizer of this event was Kelsey Brady, music teacher. She played the piano and conducted the school choir in a number of patriotic songs. Students conducted the White Table Ceremony (aka Missing Man Table, Fallen Comrade Table, Fallen Soldier Table, POW/MIA Remembrance Table, and POW/MIA Empty Chair Ceremony). Please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_man_table.

About 20 veterans, most wearing clothes that identified them with their military service, were honored by the school and the large audience of parents, relatives and friends. These vets have children or grandchildren who attend CLES. In addition to “Taps,” I sounded two other calls on my gorgeous Getzen bugle—“Assembly” and “To the Color.”

Please use the Archives column (left) to find the article of 18 December 2018 and read about and see many photos of last year’s ceremony.

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“To the Color” for 7th Annual Veterans Days Ceremony at Edmonds Community College

Posted by glennled on December 3, 2019

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Boots to Books and Beyond Monument, Edmonds Community College

For the seventh straight year, we gathered at the Black Box Theatre on the campus of Edmonds Community College (ECC) on 6 November for a ceremony to honor all the nation’s veterans on the holiday established for this special purpose–Veterans Day.

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L to R: SSGT Ahmad Al Rawi, Chris Szarek and Fernando Moratalla

Dr. Amit Singh, ECC President, was present and spoke. So did Mayor Nicola Smith, City of Lynnwood. But the major speakers were Ahmad Al Rawi, and Fernando Moratalla because this year’s theme was to honor immigrant veterans. SSgt. Al Rawi told how he came from Iraq to the USA and became a Marine, now serving at the Navy Recruiting Station near Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood. Sgt. Moratalla, told how he came from Venezuela, became a Marine, and is now Senior Security Guard at ECC. Both sergeants were compelled to serve, and their stories were inspirational.

IMG_1386Dr. Peter Schmidt told the story behind the “Boots to Books and Beyond Monument” on the campus. This year is its 10th anniversary. A fascinating staff and faculty slideshow, compiled by Sgt. Moratalla and featuring “We Are the Champions” by Queen, was presented.

Chris Szarek, Director, Veterans Resource Center (VRC), ECC, U.S. Navy (Ret.) was emcee of the ceremony. I was again honored to sound “To the Color” on my Getzen bugle (aka field trumpet). Please use the Archives in the left column to see my blog article of 24 November 2017 about that ECC Veterans Day ceremony.

Please click on any photo to enlarge it. All photos except the main one featured above, are courtesy of VRC, ECC.

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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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“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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Keeping the Chops Fit While on Texas Vacation

Posted by glennled on April 27, 2018

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Glenn Ledbetter practices on his Jupiter Pocket Trumpet in St. Andrews Park, Corpus Christi, TX

Immediately after my two-week vacation in Texas with my wife, I came back to Washington State to play two gigs in Lynnwood—“To the Color” at the Pacific Little League Day ceremony at Lynndale Park on Saturday, 21 April and worship music with the orchestra at Alderwood Community Church the very next day. Meanwhile, down in Corpus Christi, TX, 2,300 miles away from home, how was I going to keep my embouchure in shape?

I did three things: two different isometric exercises daily with my P.E.T.E. (Personal Embouchure Training Exerciser) and about six hour-long practice sessions on my Jupiter Pocket Trumpet. Please see http://www.warburton-usa.com/index.php/pete and my blog post of 31 March 2018.

Here are some photos of my practice sessions in my rental car at Whitecap Beach on Padre Island (about 113 miles long) and under the gazebo at St. Andrews Park (about 31 acres) in south Corpus Christi.

It worked. After returning, I found that my chops had lost very little strength and endurance, and I had no trouble playing both gigs. I’m tickled about it.

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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Fourth Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Edmonds Community College

Posted by glennled on June 28, 2017

 

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Kyle Gaul, piper, leads the procession across the Edmonds Community College campus.

On 24 May at Edmonds Community College (ECC), veterans, their relatives and friends, and college officials and students gathered at the Black Box Theatre on campus for the 4th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony. The event is sponsored by the Veterans Resource Center at ECC, headed by Chris Szarek, Director, USN (Ret).

The Guest of Honor and featured speaker was Shannon Sessions, Air Force Veteran and Lynnwood City Council member. After this portion of the indoor ceremony, the group processed to the nearby Boots-to-Books-and-Beyond Monument for the public wreath-laying ceremony.

I had the privilege to sound two bugle calls, “To the Color” and “Taps,” on my Getzen Field Trumpet. Other performing musicians were Native American flautist, Peter Ali, and bagpiper, Kyle Gaul.

For more information about the Memorial Day ceremonies at ECC, please see my blog posts of:

All photos are by Nathan MacDonald, courtesy of the Veterans Resource Center. On the left, Buck Weaver (90+), WWII Veteran, leads the audience in singing, “God Bless America.” On the right is the Color Guard, VFW Post 1040, near the Boots-to-Books-and-Beyond Monument. Please click on either photo to enlarge it.

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“To the Color,” Pacific Little League Day in Lynnwood, 4-22-2017

Posted by glennled on June 7, 2017

Color Guard rehearsal, PLL Day, Lynndale Park, Lynnwood, 4-22-'17 - Photo by myedmondsnews.com

Glenn Ledbetter, VFW Post 1040 Bugler, rehearses the presentation of the colors with members of Girl Scout Troop 44193. Photo courtesy of MyEdmondsNews.com.

Here comes Spring, and I start watching the calendar more closely. Here comes April. Here comes Baseball. Here comes Pacific Little League Day. Here comes my sixth annual opportunity to sound the bugle call, “To the Color,” as I stand in front of home plate at Harry H. Moore Field at Lynndale Park in Lynnwood, Washington. I tell you, it’s such an honor. I love it. And I love playing my beautiful Getzen Field Trumpet (bugle). This year, the Color Guard was composed of kids from Girl Scout Troop #44193 and Boy Scout Troop #331.

For more information about the Pacific Little League and its recent season-opening ceremonies, please see my previous blog posts on these dates:

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

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