South County Fire Fighters Host Edmonds 9/11 Observance

South County Fire Fighters Host Edmonds 9/11 ObervanceSeventeen years after terrorist attacks leveled the World Trade Center towers in New York City, many came together in downtown Edmonds Tuesday morning, Sept. 11, to remember those who lost their lives that day.

Among the more than 3,000 people who died, were 343 firefighters, 60 police officers, and 10 EMTs. So it was fitting that Tuesday’s memorial was held at the 9-11 Memorial, located at the Edmonds Fallen Firefighter Memorial Park next to the downtown fire station.

Master of ceremonies Dave “Bronco” Erickson (shown at left) recounted the heroism of the police and firefighters during that dark day in 2001. Erickson described the Edmonds 9-11 Memorial and what each part represents, including the 1-ton steel I-beam from the wreckage of the World Trade Center which stands as the memorial’s centerpiece. Two stainless steel and glass panels symbolize the twin towers with 3,000 individual glass facets honoring the 3,000 who died that day.


The grassy area represents the field where the heroes on United Airlines Flight 93 crashed after thwarting hijackers. The Pentagon shape of the concrete represents the Pentagon, also struck by a hijacked plane. (That crash took the life of Sgt. Major Larry Strickland, an Edmonds High School graduate, as he was working at the Pentagon.) Firefighters added a plaque to the park’s Fallen Firefighters Memorial in honor of Walter “Duffy” Burns, a firefighter/paramedic with South County Fire, who died June 11. VFW Post 8870 members joined the Fire, Police and members of the public in attendance.

Among the Edmonds VFW members attending was Joe Camden shown above.

Article excerpted in part from Photos by Julia Wiese

October Speaker

Carrie Booker, Mgr., Puget Sound Fisher House

Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where military & veteran’s families can stay free of charge, while a loved one is in the hospital. Ms. Booker will provide a bit of Fisher House history, some stats and highlights about Puget Sound Fisher House and whom they serve.

Puget Sound Fisher House is one of the organizations supported by theVFW Post 8870 Relief Fund.

Puget Sound Fisher House is located at 1660 South Columbian Way in Seattle.

A Bit of WWII History, The U.S. Asiatic Fleet

A Bit of WWII History, The U.S. Asiatic Fleet
Even, perhaps especially, in defeat there is often extraordinary sacrifice and courage that deserves to be remembered.

USS Asheville (PG-21) under the command of Lieutenant Commander Jacob W. Britt was one of the last ships to evacuate Java, left behind due to an engine casualty, reducing speed to 10kts. Unbeknownst to Britt, between Asheville and the relative safety of Australia are four Japanese Pearl Harbor-veteran carriers, four battleships, numerous cruisers, destroyers, submarines and hundreds of land-based bombers; and the Japanese know the compromised allied rendezvous point (COMSEC violation). Sighting the Asheville alone at dawn on 3 Mar 1942, the Japanese destroyers Arashi and Nowaki, backed up by a heavy cruiser, close for the kill with a 20kt speed advantage armed with twelve 5″ guns and sixteen 24″ torpedoes against Asheville’s three 4″ guns. Asheville does not strike her colors, raise a white flag, jump into the lifeboats or scuttle the ship. Instead, Asheville opens fire, and she keeps firing as long as she is able. It takes the two top-of-the-line Japanese destroyers over 30 minutes and 300 rounds to put the archaic China gunboat under; an action viewed by the Japanese as a total fiasco but typical of the prodigious expenditure of surface ammunition to little effect, by both sides, during the course of the campaign. The Japanese rescued one Sailor and left the rest to perish as they hurried to massacre an Allied convoy just over the horizon. Engineman Fred L. Brown died in Japanese captivity in March 1945 from the combined untreated effects of disease and beatings, and the story of the Asheville is known only via another POW from the sunken USS Pope (DD-225) and fragmentary Japanese reports. Because no witnesses survived the war, there are no Medals of Honor, no Navy Crosses, no unit citations, just the dim memory of a brave crew of 166 men who fought valiantly without hope, lost somewhere about 160 NM SW of Bali.

Source: Naval History and Heritage Command

Veterans Day “Buddy Poppies”

Veterans Day Buddy PoppiesA number of our comrades signed up to distribute Poppies on Friday and Saturday, November 9 & 10 at the September Post meeting.

Those of us participating in the “Veterans in the Schools” program will need to coordinate our school presentations with our Poppy schedule to avoid conflict.

Sign up sheets will again be available at the Post meeting on October 18.

All of our Veterans Day Events are extremely rewarding to participants. Please join us.

Reflecting on the “War to End All Wars”

By Dan Doyle

Reflecting on the War to End All WarsOn August 4, 1914, Germany invaded Belgium to begin one of the most devastating wars in human history. By the end of that war, more than 15 million were dead from 28 different countries. Millions more were wounded. It was the first war that could truly be called a world war, with fronts in Europe, in the Middle East and Ottoman Empire, and in Africa. Some of the battles that would become famous in that war, like the Battle of the Somme, witnessed such carnage that the human mind could not comprehend it without teetering on the edge of insanity.

Countless veterans would come home from suffering the effects of wounds caused by weapons that were used for the first time in history: the tank, the machine gun, aerial bombing, and gas/chemical warfare. Tens of thousands came home suffering from psychological wounds so profound that the medical profession could only name the phenomenon with the language of poetic metaphor: shell shock.

The war raged across the world for four long years, leaving death and destruction in in its wake. It would finally come to an end not so much from clear victories as from the sheer exhaustion of the populations of Europe, no doubt aided by the entry of the United States in 1917. The Russian government would collapse in March of 1917 and the Bolshevik Revolution would begin in November of that year. On November 4, 1918, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to an armistice.

Revolution was rumbling in Germany as well, and Germany finally signed an armistice on November 11, 1918. We still celebrate that event to this day, now called Veterans Day. At the end of the war the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire, both of which had reigned for centuries, no longer existed.

News From 8870 Auxiliary

News From 8870 AuxiliarySome of you may not know that our auxiliary president, Valerie Ehlers, was honored to receive the VFW Auxiliary President of the Year 2017 – 2018 award. We also received certificates and awards from District and Department for having 100% in membership. We are to decorate the main display case at Edmonds Senior Center in December. We would like to use pictures of auxiliary members doing Auxiliary activities and programs. Please send your pictures to Valerie at 14002 Linden Ave. N, Apt. #706, Seattle, WA, 98133 – or – Thank you. Happy Halloween!

Know Someone Who Should be an Auxiliary Member?


For more than 100 years, the VFW Auxiliary has been fulfilling its original objectives by supporting the Veterans of Foreign Wars, serving veterans, active-duty service members and their families, and spreading patriotism nationwide.

Our members have volunteered millions of hours, donated millions of dollars and honored hundreds of thousands of veterans. Volunteer with us and celebrate the freedoms we enjoy in America.

The above chart shows some of the relationships to VFW which make one eligible for Auxiliary membership.

Know Someone Who Should be an Auxiliary Member?For more information see the VFW Auxiliary web site: or contact our local President, Valerie Ehlers.

Voice of Democracy – Youth Essay Deadlines Loom

VFW Youth EssayVFW Post 8870 is accepting applications for the annual Voice of Democracy and Youth Essay contests. This is a great opportunity for young students from elementary through high school ages to use the skills they have learned in school to express their love of their country and of patriotism. If you know of a student who should be involved, get the application to them as soon as possible. The deadline for entry is October 31. Forms have been provided to all of the local schools. Past Commander Jim Blossey is coordinating the effort. <>

Veterans in the Schools For Veterans Day

Past Commander Jim Blossey is now scheduling volunteers to participate in our annual Veterans Day in the Schools program. Participation ranges from simple attendance to be “saluted” by the students, to question and answer sessions in classroom settings to speaking to student assemblies. Your editor has participated in all three types and found them all gratifying.

Photos: Post 8870 members John Koenig, Terry Crabtree and Dan
White, appearing the schools on prior Veterans Days.

In recent years we have had more demand from the schools than we have been able to fulfill, so your participation will be appreciated.

Veterans day is invariably a school holiday, so most of these programs are held the preceding week, generally late in the week, with the most popular day being the Friday before the holiday.

If you are able to participate, please email Comrade Blossey at He will schedule everyone and let you know where and when you are expected.

Trump Donates to Veteran Entrepreneurs

President Donald Trump is donating his second quarter salary to a Small Business Administration program that will help veteran entrepreneurs. At a White House briefing on Wednesday, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon accepted a $100,000 check from the president. “This money is going to be used in our veterans program. We’re going to establish a seven-month intensive training program called ‘Emerging Leaders.’ It’s an adaptation of that program for our veterans, helping them transition from military life into private sector if they desire to start their own jobs and their own companies, and be entrepreneurs,” McMahon said. “We thank the president very much for this and it will be put to very good use.”

Courtesy VFW Action Corps Weekly