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Reminder: Order Your Edmonds Veterans PlazaVP Memorial Pavers

We still have room in our current flight of pavers. If you, or someone you know wishes to honor a veteran, living or dead, we continue to expand our memorial pavers project in the plaza. Ideally, an additional five paver orders would round out the next installation phase. The cost is $ 500, which includes engraving & installation. You will find the order form on the Post web site. Cut and past the link below in your browser. 

http://vfw8870.org/?s=pavers&searchsubmit.x=0&searchsubmit.y=0

Order Your EVP Memorial Pavers Now

Order Your EVP Memorial Pavers Now

If you, or someone you know wishes to honor a veteran, living or dead, we continue to expand our memorial pavers project in the plaza. Ideally, an additional five paver orders would round out the next installation phase. The cost is $ 500, which includes engraving & installation. 

The order form is reproduced below. Send your order by mail to VFW Post 8870, PO Box 701, Edmonds, WA 98020, with your check made out to the Post. You can also bring your order and check to the Post meeting and hand it to Jim Traner. 

Order Your EVP Memorial Pavers Now

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Pavers

New Group of Pavers Planned 

Orders are now being taken for a new group of pavers which will be installed in the area around the information Kiosk. 

A production order will be placed shortly, so if you wish to honor a veteran in this way, get your order in as soon as possible. 

The order form is reproduced below. Send your order by mail to VFW Post 8870, PO Box 701, Edmonds, WA 98020, with your check made out to the Post. You can also bring your order and check to the Post meeting and hand it to Jim Traner. 

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Pavers

Please note that his particular round of orders is for pavers only. 

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Pavers

Veterans Day in the Plaza 2019

Veterans Day in the Plaza 2019
Commander Gilliland

More than 350 veterans, families, kids and well-wishers overflowed onto the sidewalks surrounding the Edmonds Veterans Plaza Monday afternoon, all drawn by one purpose — to honor, remember and connect with our military veterans. 

Dan Doyle, VFW Post 8870 Chaplain, gave an emotional invocation that crystalized in a few words the meaning of the day. 

Veterans Day in the Plaza 2019
Chaplain Doyle

“We’re here today to honor those who at some point in their lives signed a blank check to give, up to even their lives, in service to you,” he said, “so that you and we all could enjoy the liberties, peace and privileges of this nation.” 

Emcee Rose Gilliland, VFW Post 8870 Commander, then took over: “I feel like I’m sitting in a living history today,” she began. “I’m surrounded by veterans who have lived it, breathed it and done it.” She went on to call on attendees from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War and Operation Enduring Freedom (the War on Terror) to be recognized. 

Veterans Day in the Plaza 2019
Rep. Peterson speaking

Keynote speaker was State Representative Strom Peterson, who recalled how the Edmonds Veterans Plaza got its start during his tenure serving on the Edmonds City Council. “It was about five years ago that a core group of organizers put their energies together to turn this area into a special place to honor veterans,” he said. “With dogged determination, this core group provided the energy and inspiration to accomplish this in record time.” Peterson went on to stress the key role of the plaza in providing a place to make connections.“For those who did not have the opportunity to serve, it’s a place to connect with and learn from those who did,” he explained. “For veterans like Michael Reagan who walks by my house every day on his daily pilgrimage to the plaza, it’s a place to make connections with his friends, some of whom didn’t make it back. And for all of us, it’s a place to remember what it means to serve our country and our community.” 

Veterans Day in the Plaza 2019
Clara Jennings, WWII Marine veteran turns 100 in January

Jim Traner then announced the names of those honored with newly placed pavers in the plaza: 

Ron Pajoman, Navy 1960-1965
Chuck Smith, Army 1963-1999
Patrick Marker, Marines 1944-1946; 1950-1951
John, Gregg and Kim Sharp, Marines, Navy and Navy respectively (single paver) 
Beau Crabtree, Army 1991-2001
Donald Stapleton, Air Force, 1957-1978
William Cobb, Marine 1966-1968 
Edward Johnson, Navy 1942-1946 
Paul Hauck, Army 1944-1946; 1947-1963 
Jim Roy Harrison, Navy 1942-1945 
Jack Oharah, Navy 1962-1966 
Jeffrey James Curtis, Marines, 1966-1967 

Gold Star Mother Monica McNeal was on hand to present a Vietnam War 50-year commemorative pin to Vietnam veterans who had not previously received one. The program closed with Mike Denton leading attendees in a chorus of “God Bless America”. 

Veterans Day in the Plaza 2019
8 year old John Wyatt examines military memorabilia.

Edmonds Veterans Plaza

Information Kiosk Dedicated 

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Information Kiosk Dedicated
Mike Schindler explains the kiosk functions to Sylvana Rinehart.

In a brief ceremony on the afternoon of Memorial Day, members of Post 8870 gathered with guests to dedicate the new Edmonds Veterans Plaza information Kiosk. 

Edmonds Mayor David Earling spoke briefly about the importance of the Plaza to Edmonds veterans and the city at large, followed by comments from Veterans Plaza Chair Ron Clyborne. 

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Information Kiosk Dedicated
Edmonds Mayor David Earling

The information kiosk is designed to assist visiting veterans in sourcing a variety of benefits and assistance, by giving access from the plaza to the WAserves GreaterPuget Sound web site. Prominently displayed on the home page is the Veteran Crisis Line number  (1-800-273-8255) providing ready access to emergency assistance. The kiosk operates by touch screen, making it easy to use. Soon, it will contain a data base of the names and service information of all of the individual veterans honored in the plaza and a guide to locate the veteran’s individual pavers, benches, etc. Also in planning is a cover over the kiosk to offer protection from weather, both to the equipment and the user. Stop by and take it for a test drive soon. 

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Information Kiosk Dedicated
Ron Clyborne, Veterans Plaza Chair.

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Update

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Update

Photo by Bob Rhinehart

The Edmonds Veterans Plaza continues to develop as the installation of an outdoor interactive kiosk was completed by the City of Edmonds early this month. As you can see from the photo, the kiosk is located adjacent to the dedicated pavers walkway.

All that remains is to install the necessary software to allow functionality, which should happen later in November. A dedication ceremony will be planned as soon as the kiosk is functional.

This device is intended to give veterans and their families easy access to information about veterans aid programs and will eventually offer a list and location guide to all of the dedications located within the plaza.

Donations are being accepted for additional pavers, purchase and installation of which will be scheduled as soon as a sufficient quantity have been ordered.

 

 Photo by Bob Rhinehart.

New Information Kiosk Set for Veterans Plaza

New Information Kiosk Set for Veterans Plaza

One of the final items for the Edmonds Veterans Plaza, the new information kiosk is now on order, the deposit having been sent to the vendor, Advanced Kiosks, on August 11.

The kiosk will be located near the top of the path made of pavers honoring individual veterans and we hope to have it set up and running well before Veterans Day.

There are a variety of kinds of information that can be provided, all from online “cloud” access and include a link to WAServes ( https://washington.americaserves.org/) an online service set up to help veterans access services and information. We have provided this link before in this newsletter. If you have not done so. the above link will take you there.

The vendor will also provide software to allow us to set up a directory to guide visitors to each of the points in the Plaza bearing any particular veterans’ name and service information. It will take some time to organize and enter all of that information.

There will be ongoing maintenance required in both hardware and software, for which we have reserves in the Edmond Veterans Plaza fund, to help the city keep the Plaza current and well preserved.

At the July Post meeting, Jim Traner, who is a member of the Plaza Committee and one of the original organizers of the project, went over much of the details and a vote was taken to complete this part of the project.

Our thanks go out to Comrade Traner, Ron Clyborne and Bob Reinhart, who drove this portion of the project.

An Edmonds Veterans Plaza Update

The Edmonds Veterans Plaza Committee has provided the following report to update us as we approach completion of the project.

A drinking Fountain is being installed and was to have been completed the week of October 1.

The City Council unanimously approved an additional $41K to complete the project. (These funds are directed primarily to pay for engineering changes instituted by the city.) The goal is to complete the work and have the EVP fully operational (including the water feature, lights etc.) by Veterans Day, 11 Nov.

An inaugural Veterans Day ceremony is in the planning stages. If you have any ideas or suggestions for the function …please share those with Jim Traner, Ron Clyborne or your Commander. We have a $3000 reserve fund to pay for upcoming functions and/or other EVP needs that may arise for 2017/2018.

All pavers are fully subscribed and have been installed. An additional 75 pavers in increments of 25 will be made available sometime in 2018 upon City approval. All new paver subscribers need to provide their names to Jim Traner and the ongoing subscription donations will remain at $500 per paver. We also have three stone benches available for engraving at $5000 each with which to remember and honor a Veteran(s) . If you know of anyone who may be interested, please let Traner or Clyborne know.

With a recent $8,000 grant from the Tulalip Tribe, available EVP funds stand at $19K. We needed $20k for the kiosk and the additional $1K required is covered with a verbal pledge. we will, therefore, begin the kiosk acquisition and planning, with the goal of having it installed and fully operational by the end of the 1st quarter of 2018.

We will maintain a “leadership team” to continue to manage the Plaza to its completion and to handle ongoing improvements and future functions. Post 8870 will continue to accept donations for the EVP for the foreseeable future, in order to pay for improvements and for maintenance requirements.

At right is photo of a K9 Soldier sculpture which has been donated and is to be installed in the EVP in October on a date and at a time to be announced. This statue was funded and designed by the “Off Leash dog Group”, who raised the funds to pay for the it outside the primary Plaza funding effort controlled by VFW Post 8870, to recognize the role played in our wars by the K9 teams. The dog sculpture is life size and will be installed on the existing “paver slab” on the east side of the south paver path, perpendicular to the two seating cubes.

The K-9 Memorial is to be dedicated in a brief ceremony on Saturday, October 21 at 1:00 PM at the Plaza. 

The Edmonds Veterans Plaza has already made an incredibly positive impact on our Veterans and their families and friends as well as being a very meaningful addition to our entire community.

Dispatch from Berlin

by Pete Farmer

Pete is living in Rome, Italy this year and has been sending occaional dispatches to allow the Post to share his adventure.

In 1970-71, I was stationed with the 3rd Armored Division in what was then West Germany or the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). We were defending the “Frontiers of Freedom” during the Cold War against Soviet Bloc troops. I believe our job was to slow possible invaders as they overran us. My artillery battery of 155mm self-propelled howitzers actually had nuclear rounds in nearby secure storage; small but deadly. Scary, huh?

Dispatch from Berlin

Because of my interest in WWII history, I took a week’s leave to West Berlin. Since I had a Top Secret clearance, I had to obtain permission to take a commercial flight over East Germany. A railroad or highway (only 1 route) trip required additional permission and delay.

Dispatch from Berlin

West Berlin was an island of freedom surrounded by a border secured by East German (DDR) forces with guard towers, concertina and a no-mans land.

In 1961, the Berlin Wall was erected overnight to divide the city and keep East Germans from fleeing to the West. Many of the WWII historical sites were on the East Berlin side of The Wall. I recall approaching The Wall at various vantage points to peer over and try to see these sights. The Brandenburg Gate, famous for Soviet troops raising their flag after defeating the Nazis in April 1945, was clearly visible but inaccessible. I could approach Checkpoint Charlie, the crossing point between West and East, but no farther.

I just completed a visit to a reunified Berlin. The Wall came down November 9, 1989, though street pavers outline its location throughout the city. East Berlin had been pretty shabby but has been rebuilt since the German capital relocated from Bonn to Berlin. Our hotel and many of the museums and sights were in the former East Berlin. Checkpoint Charlie was torn down, but a replica has been erected a block away with actors portraying border guards. In the photo, it is hard to miss McDonalds.

Dispatch from Berlin

The former Gestapo SS headquarters was razed and replaced by a gravel field and a museum chronicling SS atrocities 1933-45. Adjacent is a section of The Wall and the former Luftwaffe headquarters (built of concrete, it survived the war). Germany does not hide from its Nazi past. There are additional memorials and museums in the city that document all the persecuted groups of WWII. Particularly if combined with a visit to the nearby Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, a visitor will be quite saddened by this chapter of history.

Of course the good news is the failure of Communism. A quirky museum dedicated to life in the former East Germany helps explain why and provides some comic relief to sadder times.

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Shaping Up

Edmonds Veterans Plaza DedicationWork is moving fast on the Edmonds Veterans Plaza near the Public Safety Complex at Fifth Avenue North and Bell Street in Edmonds. The two photos below, taken a few days prior to publication show the plaza under construction.

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Shaping UpAt left, the engraved pavers are shown, waiting at the Civic Center Playfield for installation. Look closley and you will see the names Weaver and Clyborne on the exposed pavers.

Construction is expected to be complete in time for the dedication, now scheduled to take place on Memorial Day, May 29. We urge all of our members, their families and all other Edmonds Veterans to attend.

NL0417_Edmonds-Veterans-Plaza_2 NL0417_Edmonds-Veterans-Plaza_3

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Underway

Opportunities remain to honor individual veterans 

Edmonds Veterans Plaza

The Edmonds Veterans Plaza to honor and remember all who serve

How to be a part of the Plaza 

Now that basic funding for the Edmonds Veterans Plaza has been assured, the focus of public participation has switched to personal pavers and other naming opportunities. “We want to make sure that every Edmonds resident who wants to honor a veteran has that opportunity,” said Ron Clyborne, co-chair of the Plaza committee.

The Edmonds Veterans Plaza is a community-wide project designed to honor all U.S. veterans—past, present and future. The project is spearheaded by the local chapters of the VFW and American Legion, as well as volunteer committee members from all sectors of the Edmonds community, both public and private.

Pavers are 12-inch square tiles that will comprise the walkway in the memorial garden area of the plaza. Many —if not all—will be engraved with the name and military information of individuals who have served, whether living or deceased. Donors of $500 or more to the Plaza are entitled to have a paver engraved honoring a veteran of their choice. For those to whom the $500 requirement would present a financial hardship, there are a limited number of grants available.

The City of Edmonds has made a site available for the Plaza directly adjoining the City Council chambers at 5th Avenue North and Bell Street. The City Park Department has agreed to the ongoing care the facility. The triangular area is presently concrete paved and planted with trees and ornamentals, but the new Veterans Plaza layout will change the character of the plot dramatically.

The focal point of the design will be a long stone wall, approximately four feet high, divided into 10- to 12- foot sections. Between the sections there will be gently flowing waterfalls. The walls will be decorated with symbols of the five military services on one and the plaza theme and appropriate quotes on others.

A separate wall will remember those local warriors who sacrificed their lives in service to our country. Another will thank major donors that made the Edmonds Veterans Plaza possible.

Benches and stone seating cubes will be distributed throughout the site. A small memorial garden will provide contemplative seating and other silent tributes, all designed to contribute to a spirit of remembrance and healing for families and troubled veterans

NL0217_Veterans_Plaza2The second fund raising goal of $572,000 was met in mid-January. Financial contributions are still being accepted however, with a digital informational kiosk, drinking fountain and other enhancements now being targeted. Donations can be made at edmondsveteransplaza.com.

Construction of the Edmonds Veterans Plaza is underway, with the public opening, ribbon cutting and dedication planned for Memorial Day, May 29.