Tag Archive: Veterans Day

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.

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 jamesblossey@comcast.net. He will schedule everyone and let you know where and when you are expected.

Veterans Day at our Schools

Post 8870 member Dan White visited classrooms at Odyssey ES

Post 8870 member Dan White visited classrooms at Odyssey ES

Twenty-Six members of Post 8870 participated in Veterans Day school visits this year at all grade levels. Dick Simmons provided the following description of his visit to Sherwood Elementary School, which seems typical of the experience we all had:

“Had a great visit on Thursday the 10th at Sherwood Elementary School located in the Woodway area. An all-school assembly began at 10:50. The students filed in and we began with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by the acknowledgment of the four Veterans in attendance, including me, a vet from Legion Post 244 someplace back east, and two other vets, one Vietnam and another Korean era.

The assembly included a white table ceremony that was conducted by a teacher and students using a description of the ceremony and its significance that has been described in a children’s book.

After the assembly one of the teachers asked me if I could spend some time visiting with her fifth graders which I did, visiting with two fifth grade classes at the same time. The kids pelted me with questions for an hour or so which I enjoyed answering as best I could until recess and continued to answer questions outside the classroom during recess.

The kids were extremely polite and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience just as I have for the past three years I’ve been attending their Veterans assembly.”

“Thanks for your help in allowing us to truly show kids what it means to serve our country and what Veterans day recognizes.”

Ryan Oxner, Odyssey Elementary Dean of Students


8870 member Jon Koenig speaking at Meadowdale MS with Post Commander Terry Crabtree.

8870 member Jon Koenig speaking at Meadowdale MS with Post Commander Terry Crabtree.

Well Done!

To the following members who participated in Veterans Day School Visits

EdCC — Blossey, Szarek
Alderwood MS — Apgar
Discovery ES — Dentonn
Hazelwood ES — Doyle
Meadowdale ES — Gaul
Seaview ES — Kurfess
Voyager MS — Ward
Meadowdale MS — Crabtree, Koenig, Santopolo
Edmonds‐Woodway HS — Gaul, Mazerolle
Holy Rosary ES — Collins
Picnic Point ES — Traner
Arlington ES — McCann
Odyssey ES — White
Sherwood ES — Simmons
Olympic View MS — Traner
Scriber Lake HS — Blossey, Shelton, Whedon, Russo
Brier Terrace MS — Clyborne, Adams
Fairmount ES — Apgar
Martha Lake ES — Denton
Olivia Park ES — Crabtree, Williams
Mountlake Terrace ES — Kurfess
Edmonds ES — Sacks, Cassutt
College Place ES — Hallums
Brier ES — Apgar
Spruce ES — Edwards


Veteran Volunteers Needed

An opportunity to inspire young people 

Veteran’s Day is officially Wednesday, November 11. During the days leading up to that week many of the schools in our service area will have special programs honoring veterans and educating the students about service and sacrifice.

By the time you read this, we will have sent letters to all the schools offering to provide one or more veterans to come to any school requesting them. Some will be asked to speak before an assembly, others to visit a small class, and some to simply be present while the young people honor us and show their appreciation.

At our Post meeting on October 13 those in attendance will be given the opportunity to volunteer to visit these schools. Those who have done so in the past always come away moved and grateful for the remarkable young students and the teachers inspiring them.

If you are unable to be at the October meeting and you would like to sign up, you can do so by emailing Commander Blossey at blossey.james@gmail.com.

Veterans Day: Buddy Poppy Time

Veterans Day: Buddy Poppy TimeBob Crawford, our stalwart organizer of poppy distribution, asks that you be certain November 6-7 are on your calendar and arrange your scheduled hours with him. We will have four locations to staff this time around. Bob can go over the opportunities with you, so be sure you get together with him at the September meeting, or call him to make arrangements. If all of our active membership participates, it will be an easy and productive weekend. There is no more rewarding activity to participate in as a VFW member.

Buddy Poppy Drive a Huge Success

Bob Crawford is our chairman of our Buddy Poppy distributions and set another record on Veterans Day weekend. This year we raised $12,227 while our volunteers spent a couple days at four locations. We were fortunate to have a fourth store after Tops Food closed their location in Edmonds and we were left to struggle to find a replacement. Fortunately, Fred Meyer allowed us to distribute Poppies at one of their locations allowing us to add $2,200 from that store.

Veterans Day

Of course our first annual ceremony at Veterans Plaza was a big success (more in the newsletter about it) but we outdid ourselves on reaching out to the various schools and providing speakers and veterans for their Veterans Day assemblies. Commander Jim Blossey replaced our fallen Comrade, Rock Roth, in arranging the Post members to be in the appropriate schools at the correct times. We ended up being in 22 schools and talking to literally hundreds of students. We continue to add schools to our speaking engagements. Now we need to add some of you who haven’t participated in the past.

Veterans Day

On November 11th at 11AM, we will have our first Veterans Day ceremony at our new Veterans Plaza at 5th and Bell. Depending on the weather (although it never rains in November in Edmonds), we may have to put up some shelters for the speakers and honored guests. In addition, if Memorial Day at the cemetery is any indication, we will also have to put up chairs for our elderly citizens to use. Therefore, we will have a work party detail at 0930 to get things organized. Since this is our first attempt at this, the more hands we get to help, the quicker we can adjourn to the coffee shop before returning at 11AM. The agenda is still somewhat fluid, but Commander Jim Blossey will MC the event, Mayor Dave Earling will say a few words, and Mike Reagan, Post member and founder of the Fallen Heroes Portrait Foundation will be the keynote speaker. Our own Chris Edwards will play Taps to close the ceremony. Following the ceremony, we will need some hands to help us pack up everything. At that time, we will adjourn to the Edmonds Cemetery where there will be a tour of the notable veterans interred there. Hopefully, we can have a major showing of our VFW members so please wear your covers to the ceremony. This is our day at our Park so please make an effort to be there.