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Independence Day Memories

Independence Day Memories

For many of us, the 4th of July celebrations are a hi-lite of the VFW year, with the annual parade, picnic at the Legion Hall and evening fireworks, but this year, thanks to the Covid 19 pandemic, we will have only memories of past versions of these events. In the photos shown above from prior years, Post 8870 members are forming up for the “Edmonds Kind of 4th” parade, and handing flags out to the younger citizens in attendance. 

Independence Day Memories

We look forward to returning to these traditions next year. 

Meanwhile, Phil Sacks still showed up for parade duty. His neighbor, Art Jones, organized a parade in his honor around the block on Saturday morning. 

Sacks, a Purple Heart recipient, led the way in his VFW jacket. Jones, wearing blue jeans, carried a flag and blared music from a Bose Bluetooth speaker. “We played John Philip Sousa as if it were the Boston Pops,” said Jones, 77. Thanks to the Everett Herald’s Andrea Brown for the article and photo on Sacks’ personal parade

Independence Day Memories

Firefighter of the Year Recognized

Firefighter of the Year Recognized

Seventeen years after terrorist attacks leveled the World Trade Center towers in New York City, many came together in downtown Edmonds Tuesday morning, Sept. 11, 2018 to remember those who lost their lives that day. 

Dave “Bronco” Ericson our Fire Fighter of the year for 2019-20, who was instrumental in the creation of the Edmonds Fallen Firefighter memorial Park next to the downtown fire station, was on hand for the dedication two years ago. 

Among the more than 3,000 people who died on 9/11 were 343 firefighters, 60 police officers, and 10 EMTs. As Master of ceremonies 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. 

We are proud to recognize Bronco for his years of public service as a fire fighter in our community and particularly for his critical role in the establishment of the memorial. 

New Members Inducted

Four new members were sworn into the post at the June Meeting, all are Navy veterans: 

Dean Flagg 
Brad Hintz 
Scott Johnson 
Nathan Wortinger

Let’s all extend a warm welcome to these veterans as they join our ranks. More information will be published on these comrades as it is received. We are expecting to welcome some additional members at the July Post meeting and look forward to an opportunity to meet with all of our comrades once again.

Buddy Poppy – Memorial Day Virtual Fund Raiser

Buddy Poppy - Memorial Day Virtual Fund Raiser

Our online fundraiser for Memorial Day was surprisingly successful, with a total of $9,278.86 received via our “Square” account from the various online media sources in which we promoted. In addition, approximately $1,500 more has been pledged as matching funds, bringing our total raised to more than $ 10,700. 

Our Post Relief Committee has reviewed the budget in light of these results and concluded that with the reserves on hand going into this period, no major cuts will be required in funding our usual causes for the 2020-21 fiscal year. While we hope to be back in front of the stores for Veterans Day, with what we have learned from this experience, we are optimistic about our ability to function with or without those personal appearances at the stores.

#National “StillServing” Celebration Scheduled on Facebook

#National “StillServing” Celebration scheduled on Facebook

While COVID-19 has prevented us from gathering together for our national convention this year, we know our members are still hard at work. VFW members and Posts across the country have stepped up in the face of this pandemic to again rise as the pillars of support in their communities. 

In honor of your ongoing committment to service and to highlight the many ways our members continue to give back, VFW National is holding the first-ever, virtual #StillServing Celebration on Facebook. The weeklong event kicks off Monday, July 20, 2020, at 10:00 a.m., and culminatees with the installation of Hal Roesch as the next VFW National Commander. 

Join in as we hear directly from members and Post leaders on how they’ve stepped up during these uncertain times. Hear remarks from special guests, surprise celebrity entertainers, enter the #StillServing T-shirt giveaway, all while engaging and networking with other members from the comfort of your computer or device. 

Stay tuned for more information, and make sure you’re ready by following us on Facebook – with your notifications turned on. 

Our 2020-21 Student Essay Themes

Applications & Deadlines Our annual student essay contests will need to be promulgated to teachers and students as soon as schools are back in session, in order to allow time to meet the deadline of October 31 for submission to the post. Following are the themes for the 2020-21 school years. Applications, in the form of fillable PDF documents are available at this link: https://vfwwa.org/di/vfw/v2/default.asp?pid=79734

Youth Essay

Youth Essay Grades 3,4 &5 
Theme: “What is Patriotism to Me? 

Patriot's Pen

Patriots Pen Grades 6,7 & 8 
Theme: “Why American Veterans should be honored”

Voice of Democracy

Voice of Democracy Grades 9-12 Theme: “Is this the Country the Founders Envisioned?” 

VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award

Grades K-12 

VFW wants to identify and recognize America’s best educators who instill a sense of national pride in students. It offers cash awards, commemorative plaques and all-expenses-paid trips to the VFW National Convention for these worthy teachers. The trip provides an opportunity for winners to network with likeminded individuals. 

As with the student essay contests, the deadline for applications to be submitted to Posts for Teacher of the Year is October 31. Anyone can nominate a teacher they believe to be deserving, so reach out to friends and family for suitable nominees. 

From the Bookshelf

by Mike Denton 

Sea Stories by William H. McRaven

Admiral William H. McRaven is a part of American military history, having been involved in some of the most famous missions in recent memory, including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. 

“Sea Stories” is an unforgettable look back on one man’s incredible life, from childhood days sneaking into high-security military sites to a day job of hunting terrorists and rescuing hostages. 

Action-packed, humorous, and full of valuable life lessons like those exemplified in McRaven’s bestselling Make Your Bed, Sea Stories is a remarkable memoir from one of America’s most accomplished leaders. 

Volunteers needed for Back-to-School Brigade 2020

Commander Rose Gilliland has announced the post will participate in this “Operation Home Front” program, sponsored by Dollar Stores in our area. Each store is collecting donations of “Back to School” supplies which are to be distributed to needy military families for the new school year. Post 8870 has two such stores in our area, one in Edmonds at the Aurora Marketplace on Hwy 99, the other in Mukilteo, further north on Highway 99. 

Our role in the project is to pick up the donated items (pencils, rulers,erasers, binders, etc.) from the stores and then sort them into packages for individual students, which we will do at the Legion Hall. Scheduling and sign ups will be handled over the Post meeting on Zoom on Wednesday July 15. If you can’t make the virtual meeting but wish to participate, email commander@vfw8870.org to let the Commander know of your interest. Further information will also be sent out via email. 

More information on this program can be found at https://www.operationhomefront.org/custompage? Id=3260