Local veterans gathered at Edmonds’ Veterans Plaza Monday afternoon to honor their fallen comrades in a short ceremony.
Ron Clyborne, a Vietnam veteran, spoke about the efforts to create the memorial plaza dedicated to veterans, starting with a vision nine years ago followed by planning, fundraising and construction. Edmonds’ Veterans Plaza officially opened on Memorial Day 2017.
In her remarks, Edmonds City Council President and U.S. Air Force veteran Vivian Olson pointed to the myriad heroes giving back to Edmonds every day through arts, charities and service. She also spoke about the fragility of democracy, underscored by the current conflict in Ukraine.
Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson offered thanks to those attending for their service.
At the end of the event, Vietnam veterans Mike Reagan — founder of the Fallen Heroes Project — and Duane Bowman distributed pins to families of those veterans whose loved ones came home from Vietnam, and buttons to those Vietnam vets who served when called to duty.
About 75 Veterans and friends attended our informal observance of the Day at the Edmonds Veterans Plaza at the usual 11:00 A.M time of November 11, recognizing both Veterans Day and the day and hour of the signing of the armistice ending World War I in 1918.
Dan Doyle, Our Post Chaplain said a few appropriate words and Commander Kurfess oversaw the distribution of a new pin recognizing the widows of deceased Vietnam Veterans as well as Vietnam Veteran recognition pins to those who had not yet received them. The worst of the rain held off until after the ceremony.
You are reminded that The Edmonds Veterans Plaza kiosk is now loaded with the veterans’ basic information excerpted from the memorialized pavers and benches. Some of the veterans dedicated also have provided additional information and photos. You can go to the plaza and check to see if you, your friend or family member is showing up. The Memorial ID and the map on the screen can help users to locate their pavers, etc.
The team will continue the effort to add more information and edit if needed. Please see the online version of the kiosk here (In other words, you can do the checking from your home remotely, too!): http://tribute-kiosk-software.com/ edmonds/
You are welcome to fill out one of the forms below. Or send the veterans’ information and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also use the same email to correct the existing information on the kiosk. See the form below for what types of information we can use. Although ideal, it doesn’t have to be complete.
Please select one of the Forms below and use its link.
Form A: For those who have a Google account**. Only Google account holder can upload photos directly from the form. Prepare the photos (Read Photo Specification*) and start the form below. —> https://forms.gle/HXNLN8AoGuJWtW4G7
• Form B: For those who do not or wish to have a Google account. We will send a separate email requesting photos later. Please go ahead and fill the form below. —> https://forms.gle/1iqMkSoaPUHfzo8H9
* Either way, you will be requested (but not required) to provide up to 2 photos. *Photo specification: Ideally optimized for 400w X 500h in pixels at 72 DPI and JPG (.jpg) format is preferred (up to 10 MB per photo in size allowed). You may want to start preparing them before you start filling the form. If you do not know how to do these, do not worry but go ahead and upload photos as they are.
It has been quite a challenge getting the information kiosk at the plaza going, but we seem to be at a point where it is now really useful to visitors. Everyone is encouaged to visit the plaza and check out the content of the kiosk. If you have yet to submit details for any pavers, benches, or other items you have purchased to honor a veteran, please see the instructions for doing so, which are repeated later in this newsletter.
Further planned improvements to the Plaza include building a roof over the kiosk and adding a statue, possibly in the form of a human handler adjacent to the service dog statue, located at the east end of the plaza. Generous donors have already provided funding for these projects which are now pending design and city approval.
Map of Edmonds Veterans Plaza layout – Click to enlarge
Example of an individual page
Instructions to submit Veterans Plaza Kiosk Data
If you have purchased any of the several types of memorial spaces in the plaza for either yourself or other veterans, living or deceased, please select one of the Forms below and use its link to enter requested data for each honoree.
You are welcome to complete one of the forms below, or send the veterans’ information and photos to email@example.com. Also use the same email to correct the existing information on the kiosk. See the form below for what types of information we can use. Although ideal, it doesn’t have to be complete. Please use this format and save the committee the effort of following up with you individually!
Please select one of the Forms below and use its link.
Form A: For those who have a Google account**. Only Google account holders can upload photos directly from the form. Prepare the photos (Read Photo Specification*) and start the form below. —> https://forms.gle/HXNLN8AoGuJWtW4G7
Form B: For those who do not wish to have a Google account. We will send a separate email requesting photos later. Please go ahead and fill the form below. —> https://forms.gle/1iqMkSoaPUHfzo8H9
Either way, you will be requested (but not required) to provide up to 2 photos.
*Photo specification: Ideally optimized for 400w X 500h in pixels at 72 DPI and JPG (.jpg) format is preferred (up to 10 MB per photo in size allowed). You may want to start preparing them before you start filling the form. If you do not know how to do this, do not worry but go ahead and upload photos as they are.
** To create free Google account: (If you use Gmail or Google Calendar, you already have a Google account.) You can create it by visiting: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/56256?hl=en)
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.
We continue to raise funds for the ongoing maintenance and
improvement of the Edmonds Veterans Plaza. Shown below are Commander Rose
Gilliland and Past Commander Jim Traner being presented with a check for $
1,000 from a representative of the Governor’s Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee.
This grant money is raised through the sale of Veterans Remembrance Emblems.
The emblems include campaign ribbons or military awards, and are
stickers that can be placed on Washington license plates. This grant
is the result of an application made by Maria Montalvo of the EVP Committee.
The VAAC is authorized to disperse funds for projects that pay
tribute to living and deceased veterans.
The VAAC Operates with the motto of No Veteran Forgotten, and
serves in an advisory capacity to the Governor and the Director of the
Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.
are now being taken for a new group of pavers which will be installed in
the area around the information Kiosk.
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.
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.
Please note that his particular round of orders is
for pavers only.
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.
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.
As we reported earlier, there have been
some issues with the Kiosk at the Plaza around damage from the winter
weather. We now have a resolution of those issues which will allow us
to economically repair any potential new damage from ice and
moisture. Additionally, plans are underway to install a cover over the
kiosk to protect it from weather and debris from the surrounding
trees, pending a design approval from the city.
The software which operates the kiosk is reported
to be functional and will be in operation soon. While there is still much work
to be done to connect the history of the individuals honored in our Plaza
with the data base in the kiosk, that work will proceed.
We are planning to hold a brief dedication
ceremony on Memorial Day, following our traditional Memorial day
observance at the Cemetery, to take place at 1:00 PM. Please put
this event on your calendar.
If you have visited the Edmonds Veterans Plaza recently,
you will note that the information kiosk has a protective cover
placed over it and is not yet in operation.
The system was expected to have been activated by now, however,
the recent exposure to snow and ice has damaged the equipmet
requiring the manufacturer to replace the interface
mechanisms. (Keyboard and roller mouse)
While the unit was sold as “weather proof”
that description seems to have been optimistic. Discussions are underway
with the manufacturer, who has agreed to replace the faulty parts. The EVP
Committee is exploring the placement of a cover or roof on the kiosk to
protect it from rain, snow and debris from the overhanging trees.
We still hope to hold a dedication ceremony around Memorial Day.
Stay tuned for further developments.