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We Did It! — Edmonds Veterans Plaza Dedicated!

Edmonds Veterans PlazaDedicatedAfter three years of effort and the raising of nearly $ 600,000, Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling cuts the ribbon to officially open the new Edmonds Veterans plaza as members of the Plaza Steering Committee look on.

Edmonds Veterans PlazaDedicated

A crowd estimated to exceed 500 hears Plaza Steering Committee leaders Ron Clyborne and Maria Montalvo open the ceremonies.

Edmonds Veterans PlazaDedicated

Keynote speaker Lt. Gen. Robert Otto, USAF (Ret) General Otto spoke movingly about service and honoring veterans.

Edmonds Veterans PlazaDedicated

Mike Reagan, Marine veteran of Vietnam & Post 8870 member, spoke about coming home and remembering the fallen.

Photos by Theresa Whipple, My Edmondsnews.com

Volunteer Gardeners Prepared Plaza for Dedication

by Jim Traner

We had a fantastic turnout at the Plaza on May 24, to get the Plaza ready for the dedication. The city and Park Department were there as well as our planners, Siteworks.

Volunteer Gardeners Prepared Plaza for Dedication The City provided the plants and Siteworks indicated where we needed to dig and what to plant after we got the hole dug. Post 8870 members who showed up were Dick Simmons, John Shelton and his wife, Dan Doyle, Paul Russo, Phil Sacks, Mark Williams, Tom Hallums, Charlie Gaul, Duane Bowman, Terry Crabtree, Les Abel, Jerry Burton and Jim Tarner. Others there to help included State Rep. Strom Peterson, Maria Montalvo, Mike Schindler, Bob Rinehart, 6 ladies from the Woodsound Garden Club, and 3 members of the Growing Veterans organization.

Volunteer Gardeners Prepared Plaza for Dedication In the end, the Plaza looked like the finished product although the Parks Department and Siteworks Tell us there is still work to be done. Many thanks to all our volunteers for putting the finishing touch on our Edmonds Veterans Plaza.

Volunteer Gardeners Prepared Plaza for Dedication

Memorial Day Observance at Edmonds Cemetery

Memorial Day Observance at Edmonds Cemetery

8870 member First Sgt Chris Edwards of Washington NationalGuard directed the flag ceremony.

Memorial Day Observance at Edmonds Cemetery

Approximately 20 Post members acted as color guard under the leadership of John Shelton. John also acted as the bell ringer for the ships bell ceremony.

Memorial Day Observance at Edmonds Cemetery

Post Commander Terry Crabtree and Jim Collins hoist the colors.

Memorial Day Observance at Edmonds Cemetery

Post 8870 and District 1 Voice of Democracy winner Olivia Olson recited her essay.

Memorial Day Observance at Edmonds Cemetery

Chaplain Dan Doyle offered the benediction and spoke on his experience as a Navy Corpsman with the Marines at Ke Sanh.

Memorial Day Observance at Edmonds Cemetery

Dick Simmons read the names of the fallen at the Ships bell ceremony.

Memorial Day Poppy Donations Smash Previous Revenue Records

Memorial Day Poppy Donations Smash Previous Revenue RecordsLed by the crew manning the Buddy Poppy tables at Central Market in Mill Creek, Post 8870 surpassed our previous record high donation revenues by more than $ 2,000 with a total at press time of $16,767!

Shown at left are Commander Terry Crabtree and Past Commander Fred Apgar, who established the Mill Creek location and led it before moving out of town late last year. Fred was visiting to take care of loose ends involved with his move and was kind enough to join the crew on Sunday.

Well done on the part of everyone participating.

It is gratifying to have the opportunity to hear so many people tell their personal stories of military service, or those of members of their families. Donors gave to honor veterans of both world wars and all of our more recent conflicts. The gratitude shown by so many to veterans participating is always very moving.

If you didn’t parfticipate this time around, please consider joining us for Veterans Day in November.

These additional monies will allow our Relief Committee to do much more for veterans in need and their families.

Memorial Day Poppy Donations Smash Previous Revenue Records

Memorial Day Poppy Donations Smash Previous Revenue Records

It seems appropriate in this 100th anniversary year of the United States involvement in World War I, to remember Canadian Col. John Mcrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields” from which the now long standing tradition of the red poppy as the symbol of of Memorial Day and The British Commonwealth’s Remembrance Day, derives.

Veteran Suicide Epidemic

Chaplain Dan Doyleby Chaplain Dan Doyle

To say that war is hell is merely an aphorism, but to have lived through that hell is another thing altogether. To come back from that hell and to try to get back into the everyday realities of civilian life while still bearing the unhealed external and internal scars of that hell is more difficult than most can understand. It is important here to remember that all wounds are capable of being healed, if the proper conditions are offered. Currently we are experiencing an epidemic of veteran suicides. On average, 22 of our veterans are committing suicide each day.  Why is this happening? What is being done about it? I have written a series of two articles on this topic, which have just been published on my blog for theveteranssite.com.

[ed. note: Recent statistics on total suicides in the US show approximately 18% (based on the 22 per day quoted above) are veterans, a number far above the approximately 7% percent of the population veterans represent]

I have been writing for theveteranssite.com for the last seven years. The site raises money to feed homeless veterans, and offers lots of valuable veteran information. You can reach the site by going to theveteranssite.com. There is a blue “free” donation button on the homepage and, by clicking on that button, you generate funds from corporate sponsors, 100% of which goes to various organizations around the country that provide meals for homeless veterans. On the menu line of the homepage, second from the left, you will see the words “videos and stories,” click on that and a drop down menu appears. Click on “Notes from a Veteran” and that will take you to my blog. You will find the articles mentioned above, as well as many of the other articles I have written over the last few years.

Following is a direct link to the first of Dan’s two articles:

http://blog.theveteranssite.com/veteran-treatment/

Dan Doyle is a Vietam veteran who served as a Navy Corpsman with the Marine Corps.

A Memorial to Remember June 6, 1944

9,000 Fallen Soldiers Etched into the Sand on Normandy Beach

Photos and text courtesy of Jim McCann

A large percentage of our country doesn’t know of or care about Normandy. This year, a British artist, accompanied by numerous volunteers, took to the beaches of Normandy with rakes and stencils in hand to etch 9,000 silhouettes representing fallen soldiers into the sand.

Titled “The Fallen 9000”, the piece is meant as a stark visual reminder of those who died during the D-Day beach landings at Arromanches on June 6th, 1944 during WWII. It is hard for us, who have never had such an experience, to imagine charging off those landing craft under heavy artillery, mortar and machine gun fire, with men falling all around you. They were indeed the greatest generation. The original team consisted of 60 volunteers, but as word spread nearly 500 additional local residents arrived to help with the temporary installation that lasted only a few hours before being washed away by the tide.

A Memorial to Remember June 6, 1944

Memorial Day: Remember the Fallen

Buddy Poppy Distribution

Memorial Day poppy distribution will occur on Memorial Day weekend May 26-28 at Edmonds Way and Mukilteo QFC stores, Fred Meyer at 164th & Alderwood Mall Blvd. and at Central market in Mill Creek. Poppy coordinators Bob Crawford and Jim Mc Cann will be taking sign ups for Friday and Saturday shifts, plus Sunday shifts at Central Market in Mill Creek only. Please participate. This is the major fund raiser which allows the post to support veterans and our community projects. The more people we have on hand, the more poppies we hand out and the more money we collect to benefit our Veterans. Besides, it’s fun!

At below is John McCrae’s poem ”In Flanders Fields”; the source of the poppy as the object of remembrance for the fallen.

In Flanders Fields

John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Poppy Distribution

Memorial Day 2017

Memorial Day 2017

Annual Memorial Day Observance, Edmonds Cemetary

Monday, May 29, 11:00 AM. Join our color guard and participate in the ceremonies to honor the fallen. We will form up near the east entrance at 10:45, then at 11;00 we will proceed to the Flag pole and hold colors

 

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Dedication 

Monday, May 29, 2:00-3:00 PM at 5th Ave & Bell St in downtown Edmonds. (Bell St. Will be closed to traffic, 5th Ave will be open for drop off and handicapped parking.) 

 

Honoring All Veterans | Past, Present and Future

Guest Speakers: 

Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling

Lt. Gen Robert Otto, USAF Retired

State Representative Strom Peterson

Fallen Heroes Project Artist Michael G. Reagan

 

Following the dedication, we will host an informal reception at the American legion Hall with beverages, snacks & desserts. All are welcome.

All members of VFW Post 8870 are urged to attend. Please wear your cover.

 

New Member Steve Brown

Steve is shown being welcomed into the Post by Commander Terry Crabtree. A Vietnam veteran, Steve was a MAT team advisor embedded with the “ruff-puffs” in II Corp. 1970-1971.

NL0517_Steve-BrownSteve told us: “ I was in the Army for five and a half years and made Captain when I left Viet Nam in April, 1971. Finished up in Baumholder, Germany after eighteen more months as Company commander with the 268 Armor BN. I’ve worked the aviation Industry for nearly forty years-Currently own my own machine shop and am still working-part time with my son. Been married for 44 years and have a son, daughter and teenage granddaughter. My wife was also in the military (1Lt) when we got married after I came home from Nam. We’ve lived peacefully in Mill Creek for the past 30 years. “  

Edmonds Veterans Plaza

Project Completion is in Sight

 

The photos below were shot by Jim Traner on April 27, reflecting the status of construction with just one month remaining until dedication on Memorial Day.

The first photo shows the installation of granite paving blocks, purchased by friends and family to honor individual veterans, viewed looking north from the bell Street side.

In the second picture, we see a view of the wall and seating area, all of which will be surrounded by garden. This view is from the Bell St. side, closer to 5th Ave.

Edmonds Veterans Plaza: Project Completion is in Sight NL0517_Veterans-Plaza_1