Glenn’s Trumpet Notes

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Posts Tagged ‘VFW Post 1040’

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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8th Annual “Wreaths Across America” Ceremony at Evergreen-Washelli in Seattle

Posted by glennled on December 29, 2017

Air Force Master Sgt. Shanda De Anda salutes the wreath on which she just placed a flag (2)

Air Force Master Sgt. Shanda De Anda salutes the USAF wreath. Photo by Alan Berner, The Seattle Times.

On Saturday, 16 December 2017, a crowd gathered at Veterans Cemetery at Evergreen-Washelli in north Seattle to participate in the Wreaths Across America (WAA) ceremony, along with 1,422 other participating locations nationwide. The ceremony is held annually on the 3rd Saturday in December.

Locally, it was the 8th annual WAA event, hosted by the Navy Wives Club of America (NWCA), Totem 277 (Seattle to Burlington), with Lorraine Zimmerman the emcee.
The guest speaker was Col. Anthony D. Babcock, USAF, Commander, 62nd Maintenance Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

At Arlington National Cemetery, more than 75,000 volunteers placed 244,700 wreaths (one for each marker there). It was the largest crowd since the tradition began in 1992. A network of hundreds of volunteer drivers trucked nearly 500 truckloads of  more than 1,565,000 remembrance wreaths to every state in the union.  Other dedicated volunteers committed countless hours to conduct this coordinated event that helps accomplish WAA’s mission to “Remember, Honor, and Teach.” Please see the WAA Official Facebook page and its website, http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/, as well as http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil.

VFW Post 1040, Lynnwood, supplied the Color Guard and Honor Guard (rifle team and bugler). I sounded “Taps” on my Getzen bugle at the close of the ceremony. The Post’s website is http://www.vfw1040.org.

For an 11-photo slideshow with captions by Alan Berner, The Seattle Times, please see https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/seattle-area-fallen-veterans-honored-in-wreaths-across-america-ceremonies.

For more information on both WAA and this local event, please see my past blog posts of:

  • 30 Dec 2016
  • 5 Feb 2016
  • 28 Apr 2015
  • 9 Jan 2013
  • 16 Dec 2011

These photos are courtesy of Alan Berner, The Seattle Times. 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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Glenn, the Edmonds Trumpet Busker!

Posted by glennled on July 7, 2017

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Glenn Ledbetter, busking at Veterans Plaza in Edmonds. All donations ($128, so far) go to VFW.

I finally did it—public busking with my Getzen trumpet. It’s an idea that’s been germinating within me for a long time, especially since my wife and I enjoyed listening to a grisly, picturesque old accordion player on the bridge crossing the River Wear in Durham, England in August, 2014, and to a dandy Scottish bagpiper blasting his stirring tunes at the corner of Government and Belleville streets in downtown Victoria, B.C., Canada, on the many occasions we have visited there.  “That’s fun,” I thought. “I can do that.”

So, on three recent Saturdays in June and July, as Nike would advise, I just did it. I donned by veterans cap, American-flag T-shirt, and sat myself down in Veterans Plaza in downtown Edmonds, adjacent to the Saturday Market on 5th Ave. N. and Bell St. As people came and went, walking, sitting, eating, talking, listening, I played for two hours from my busking book of about 125 pieces of music, mostly taken from musicals and movies, plus some patriotic songs and marches.

In my open trumpet case, I placed the sign, “Your Donations Go to VFW.” One Saturday, people donated $48, another $35, and another $45. I sent the $128 to VFW Post 1040 (Lynnwood), where I am the Post Bugler, and VFW Post 8870 (Edmonds), which built the new, outstanding Veterans Plaza. The plaza was dedicated on Memorial Day, 29 May 2017.

Busking is indeed fun. People come up and say the nicest things. Toddlers dance. It’s true—music is the universal language of mankind. Just do it, and you’ll see.

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“Taps” at 7th Annual Wreaths Across America Ceremony at Evergreen-Washelli, Seattle

Posted by glennled on December 30, 2016

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Wreaths Across America, Veterans Cemetery, Evergreen-Washelli, Seattle, 12-17-2016

When the 7th Annual Wreaths Across America (WAA) ceremony commenced on Saturday, 17 December 2016, at Veterans Cemetery, Evergreen-Washelli, in north Seattle, the temperature was 27 degrees (F). Members of the VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard teased me (with a little too much glee) that the mouthpiece of my Getzen bugle would freeze to my lips when I sounded “Taps.” But I’m an old dog. That was Nev-va Gonna Hop-pen!

The local ceremony is hosted by the Navy Wives Club of America (NWCA), Totem 277 (Seattle to Burlington), and Lorraine Zimmerman again was the emcee. The ceremony is now held annually on the 3rd Saturday in December.

The guest speaker was Michael Schindler, Navy veteran and CEO of Operation Military Family Cares, a non-profit organization based in Edmonds, where he and his family live (see http://www.OMFCares.org). He spoke about each of the three elements of WAA’s mission:

  • REMEMBER our fallen U.S. veterans
  • HONOR those who serve
  • TEACH our children the value of freedom

Afterwards, I told him that his speech was worthy of being delivered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Here are a few excerpts.

“Fewer than 7% of Americans living today have worn the uniform—and less than 1% today are on the frontlines actively standing guard over our freedom. So it is our duty as parents, teachers, as leaders to help our youth understand the need for sacrifice…Imagine for a moment if we taught and required our youth to SERVE first…that “giving up” of time [to serve and honor] becomes an investment in others. And ultimately an investment in themselves. That is value [added to a person’s life]…Today it is our obligation to teach our children that freedom requires sacrifice…If you choose to wear the uniform, you will become one of American’s Greatest Assets—and your investment of time, sweat, tears, will result in a reward that is priceless—freedom.”

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Color Guard marches past Honor Guard

For more information about WAA, please see my past blog posts regarding this annual ceremony. Simply use the Archives in the left column of this blog or search for “Wreath” in the search box in the upper right column to find my posts of:

  • 5 February 2016
  • 28 April 2015
  • 9 January 2013
  • 16 December 2011

Photos are by Tonya Christoffersen, courtesy of NWCA, Totem 277. Please click on any photo below to enlarge it.

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My Trumpet Student Sounded “Echo Taps” with Me on 2016 Veterans Day Ceremony in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 21, 2016

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Glenn Ledbetter and Aidan, “Echo Taps” buglers

Did you know that “Echo Taps” is not an official U.S. military bugle call and is not to be sounded at funeral and graveside ceremonies? But because people like it, it is often used at other ceremonies, as it was this year on 11 November at Veterans Park in Lynnwood. During my time as bugler for VFW Post 1040, we first used a trumpet student of mine to play the “echo” part on Memorial Day, 1 June 2013. Ever since, we have continued to use them on both Memorial Day in May and Veterans Day in November (except one when I was sick).

In all, so far, six of my students have sounded “Echo Taps” with me in seven such ceremonies—Josiah, Vaughan, Robert (twice), Sarah, Gavin, and Aidan. Aidan did so this past Veterans Day. He is an 8th grader at Washington Middle School in Seattle and started taking private trumpet lessons with me earlier this year (see my blog post of 13 April 2016).

If you’re curious about additional coverage of “Echo Taps” in this blog, please see my posts of:

  • 19 July 2011—echo by Roy Pollock, Medal of Honor ceremony
  • 2 July 2012—echo by Bob O’Neal, War of 1812 Bicentennial ceremony
  • 19 November 2012—echo by Richard Haydis, Veterans Day ceremony
  • 1 June 2013—echo by Josiah Chupik, Memorial Day ceremony
  • 19 June 2014—echo by Robert Zhou, Memorial Day ceremony
  • 15 April 2015—echo by Sarah Dunsmore, Veterans Day ceremony
  • 17 September 2015—echo by Robert Zhou, Memorial Day ceremony
  • 22 July 2016—echo by Gavin [name withheld], Memorial Day ceremony

Photo by Rick Grambihler.

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Memorial Day Ceremony, Edmonds Community College

Posted by glennled on August 18, 2015

To pay tribute to our nation’s fallen service members, the Veterans Resource Center, headed by Chris Szarek, of Edmonds Community College (ECC) hosted its second annual Memorial Day ceremony on its campus on 20 May.

The U.S. Navy provided the Color Guard, while VFW Post 1040 of Lynnwood provided the Honor Guard. As this post’s bugler, I closed the ceremony by sounding “Taps” at the Flag Pavilion (please see video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PurAkAAgBU&feature=youtu.be).

For coverage of last year’s event, see my post of 17 June 2014. Below are photos of this year’s event, courtesy of ECC Veterans Resource Center and American Legion Post 234, Mountlake Terrace, WA. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

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“To the Color” with Girl Scouts Color Guard at Pacific Little League Day, 25 April 2015

Posted by glennled on May 4, 2015

Washington District 1 and Northwest Little League Champions, comprised of Pacific Little League All-Stars, played in 2014 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Washington District 1 and Northwest Little League Champions, comprised of Pacific Little League All-Stars, played in the 2014 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Is there a future Seattle Mariners baseball star in the Pacific Little League? The huge crowd in Lynnwood on 25 April 2015, might reasonably hope so, given the exceptionally strong performance of its All-Stars last year when they played in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Celebration of their significant accomplishment highlighted this year’s Pacific Little League Day.

Glenn Ledbetter, VFW Post 1040 Bugler, sounds "To the Color"

Glenn Ledbetter, VFW Post 1040 Bugler, sounds “To the Color”

And for the fourth year in a row, I was privileged to participate by sounding “To The Color,” this time on my new Getzen bugle, while Girl Scout Troop #44193 presented the colors to the hundreds of players and their fans at Harry H. Moore Field, Lynndale Park.

Every season opening is filled with excitement and hope, for “every day is a new day, with no mistakes in it,” as Anne of Green Gables says in the movie. For more information about and photos of the very special Pacific Little League, this venue, and this annual event, see my previous blog posts of 22 May 2012, 26 May 2013, and 7 June 2014.

Unless otherwise identified, these photos are by Carol Sheldon, Michelle Corsi, and Nancy MacDonald. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

 

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My New Getzen Bugle!

Posted by glennled on May 4, 2015

Getzen Field Trumpet, M2003E, with B-flat tuning slide

 

Getzen Bugle with 3C Mouthpiece and Carrying Case

Getzen Bugle with 3C Mouthpiece and Carrying Case

On 17 February 2015, UPS delivered a carefully wrapped package from Getzen Company, Inc. of Elkhorn, Wisconsin directly to my front door. Instantly, I knew what was inside—my new Getzen Field Trumpet!—commonly known as a bugle. I played it publicly for the first time with the Honor Guard, VFW Post 1040, on the following Saturday at a graveside service at the IOOF Cemetery in Monroe, WA.  It’s sonorous!

I bought model M2003E with a clear lacquer finish. It bears logos for Getzen and Bugles Across America (BAA) and a special etching on mine: John 15:13. As you know, that’s where Jesus says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

The bell is one piece, hand-hammered yellow brass. Like all Getzens I’ve ever played, it blows easily, with minimal resistance, and the tone is solid and rich. I bought the extra G tuning slide, too. I plan to use the G tuning slide for “Taps” and “Funeral March” and the B-flat slide for most other bugle calls. The U.S. Army and Navy use at least 67 bugle calls.

In addition to being Post Bugler for VFW Post 1040, I am also a member of BAA, a national organization that furnishes live buglers for military funerals, memorials and ceremonies. The designation, “American Heritage Elite,” is given by Getzen to those field trumpets purchased by members of BAA. See http://www.buglesacrossamerica.org. For more about Getzen instruments, see http://www.getzen.com.

 

 

 

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“Taps” at 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War Ceremony at Tulalip

Posted by glennled on April 30, 2015

Vietnam War Commemoration Flag

Vietnam War Commemoration Flag

On 7 February 2015, some 150 veterans, family members, and friends gathered at the Tulalip Hibulb Cultural Center, north of Everett, WA, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. The theme of the ceremony was “Welcome Home,” exemplified by displaying the new Vietnam War Commemoration Flag.

In a Proclamation (see http://www.vietnamwar50th.com), President Barack Obama declared that the period 28 May 2012 through 11 November 2025 is designated as “Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.” He called upon federal, state, and local officials to honor, with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities, “our Vietnam veterans, our fallen, our wounded, those unaccounted for, our prisoners of war, their families, and all who served.” That’s just what the hosts did on this occasion. The sponsors were the Tulalip Veterans Center and the Washington State Gold Star Mothers (see my posts of 06/17/2014 and 06/19/2014).

USS Koiner (DE-331)

Some 15 symbols on the flag are explained at http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/about/about_the_flag. Martin Spani of VFW Post 1040, Lynnwood, spoke about each one. The message at the bottom of the flag has special meaning to Vietnam vets: “A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You.” The keynote address was presented by Vietnam veteran, Michael Reagan, of the Fallen Heroes Project (see my posts of 11/19/2011, 11/19/2012, and 06/17/2014).

To open the ceremony, I sounded the bugle call, “Assembly.” At its conclusion, I sounded “Taps.” I also am a Vietnam War veteran—Lt., USNR, served in Operation Market Time off Vietnam in 1965-67, USS Koiner (DE-331), Operations Officer. The Koiner was home-ported in Agana, Guam during the Vietnam War. She was named for Ltjg. James Duval Koiner who died during the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942.

You may click on any image to enlarge it.

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