Senior Vice Commander Duane Bowman announced the schedule for Poppy distribution for Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day will be on May 25 and 26, with Veterans Day to follow on Friday November 4 and Friday November 10. The Veterans Day schedule will be something of an experiment, spreading the work out over two weeks, due to the holiday itself falling Saturday. Times and locations will be announced at a later date, but put those dates on your calendar. We need everyone who who is able to participate, in order to fund our long list of relief fund projects.
The traditional Memorial Day observance at the Edmonds Cemetery drew an estimated 200 attendees. “The Edmonds Cemetery is the final resting place to approximately 600 veterans dating back to the Civil War,” began Cemetery Board Member Jerry Janacek as he welcomed attendees. Janacek’s remarks were followed by a presentation of the colors by members of the Edmonds VFW Post 8870, the Pledge of Allegiance led by a contingent of Girl Scouts, singing of “The Star Spangled Banner” by David Little, and a bagpipe rendition of “Grand Old Flag” by piper Jan Begg.
In his invocation, Pastor Barry Crane of Edmonds’ North Sound Church reminded attendees that “though we come from many races and religion, we are all Americans, and we realize that freedom is not free.” Crane was followed by the North Sound Singers under the direction of Allan Skoog singing “America the Beautiful.”
Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson spoke briefly, noting that Arlington National Cemetery was created in the wake of the Civil War, a war that saw “the greatest loss of life of any of America’s armed conflicts.”
Keynote speaker was Monica McNeal, president of American Gold Star Mothers for Washington, Alaska and Oregon, a group of mothers who lost a son or daughter while in service to their country. Monica spoke about the loss of her son, Lance Cpl. Eric Levi Ward, killed in action in Afghanistan on Feb. 21, 2010.
Since then, she has dedicated herself to honoring Eric’s service and that of others who continue to serve. Eric now rests in Arlington National Cemetery. “The true cost of war is not the trillions of dollars, but in young lives like Eric’s,” she concluded. “Some gave all; all gave some. God bless America.”
McNeal was followed by Mike Denton of VFW Post 8870, with the missing man table ceremony in memory of those who remain missing in action. Next was the ship’s bell ceremony officiated by VFW Post 8870 Commander Carl Kurfess, who read off the names of Snohomish County service members who died in Iran and Afghanistan. Kurfess was assisted by Vietnam veteran John Shelton, who rang the bell as each name was read.
The ceremonies ended with “God Bless America” by the North Sound Singers, the benediction by Pastor Barry Crane, taps and a rendition of “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes.
Excerpted from story & photos by Larry Vogel, MyEdmondsNews
Our calendar is a busy one for the Memorial Day weekend period. We begin, of course, with our semi-annual Buddy Poppy distribution at our local grocery stores, which will begin on the morning of Friday, May 27 and proceed through Saturday, May 28. We could certainly use more of you to participate. It is this simple, the more poppies we hand out, the more money we bring in for our Veterans Relief Fund. It is a very rewarding experience, with lots of folks expressing their gratitude and recognizing our service, so come out and help. If you can’t give us a full day, work half a day. If half a day is not possible, come for a couple of hours. (We will have rain shelter at all locations)
On Memorial Day itself, (Monday May 30) we need a few hands to move flags for the ceremonies at the cemetery and the Veterans Plaza. Please meet at the Legion Hall at 8:30 if you can help with that duty.
We should meet at the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery at 10:30 for the 11:00am ceremonies there and will then move on to the Edmonds Veterans Plaza for a short observance at that location, to begin at 1:00pm
Wear your cover and join us to remember our fallen comrades.
We have confirmation from the stores of the availability of their facilities to distribute Buddy Poppies for Memorial Day. We will try to man two stations at each of four store locations between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM on Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28. The stores will be the QFCs at Westgate in Edmonds and the Mukilteo Speedway location; the Fred Meyer at 164th & Alderwood Mall Blvd in North Lynnwood and the Town & Country Market (formerly Central Market in Mill Creek.
Please sign up with Sr. Vice Commander and Poppy Chair Duane Bowman at the April Post meeting, or email him with your desired location and shifts ([email protected]). You may be asked to take shifts at a different time or place, depending on our staffing needs. Here is an example of a sign-up sheet/schedule. Details are the same for each location:
Spring is just around the corner, which means that planning for Memorial Day ceremonies and our Memorial Day round of Buddy Poppy distribution (May 6 & 7) is underway and we will need to begin planning for Independence Day, on the assumption that both the annual parade and our barbecue can be held this year.
Buddy Poppy Chair Duane Bowman has announced that he wishes to staff three QFC locations, Mukilteo, Westgate and 196th at 76th, as well as Fred Meyer at 164th and Town & Country Market in Mill Creek. (formerly Central Market) In order to staff all of those locations, we will need participation by considerably more of our membership than we have seen in recent years. We understand that it is difficult for some of our older members and we just ask that each of you do whatever you can. If that is a full day, great, if just and hour or two, everything helps.
We have asked the Auxiliary to participate and if spouses and older teenage offspring are will to help, they would be welcome. We usually have several spouses of members who participate and basically, everyone is welcome.
We expect to participate in the Edmonds Cemetery Memorial Day ceremonies (Monday, May 30) as we have for many years, so be sure to put that event on your calendar, beginning at 10:00 AM at the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery.
It appears that the Memorial Day events at the Edmonds Cemetery will not be held again this year due to the ongoing pandemic. The Post will conduct its own small ceremony at the Edmonds Veterans Plaza on Monday, May 31, so mark that event on your calendar. Check next month’s edition of this newsletter for more detailed information.
“Would you wear a poppy in honor of our fallen
Rain or shine, every Memorial Day weekend members of Edmonds
Post 8870 of Veterans of Foreign Wars—combat veterans
all—stand outside of area supermarkets offering passersby a small
replica of a poppy and inviting them to wear it.
It is free; we never charge for it. we just want people to wear
it as a way to let others know that they appreciate the sacrifices that
have been made on their behalf.
Very often, people choose to leave a donation anyway. The Post
uses the funds to support needy veterans in many ways: holiday gifts for
residents of local veterans homes, temporary housing for families of
hospitalized veterans, placing wreaths on veterans’ graves and many more.
And there’s the rub. With the Social Distancing prohibitions this
year, our veterans can’t be out there. As a result, Memorial Day
donations are likely to drop to zero and sadly our ability to continue to
help worthy veterans will come to a halt, too.
Unless, that is, we can get folks to click over to the Post’s website at https://vfw8870.org and hit the donate button. It doesn’t have to be a lot; anything will help. It is amazing how quickly the dollars accrue. We will be running an ad with a link to our web page in MyEdmondsNews.com and perhaps some other local media in support of this effort. That ad is shown below.
Another way you can help is to share this message on your Facebook page, or with your email contacts. You can go to our page (click here) and share it to your friends and readers. Or just copy this message and post it. Everything you do helps us help those that did so much for us.
Matching funds available! Post member Ron
Clyborne and his wife Michelle have committed to matching funds of up to $
1,500.00. Early donors have the opportunity to double their contribution
with the Clybornes’ generous offer.
While Memorial Day may yet seem way off on the horizon, it is
actually just over two months away, so now is the time to start making
Jr. Vice Commander and Poppy Chair Duane Bowman has made
arrangements for a presence at the Mill Creek Central Market once again.
It has been a few years since we have been at that location, but it has always
been very productive, as well as being a comfortable facility at which to
distribute poppies. We would like have tables at each of three doors at
We plan to distribute poppies at QFC on the Speedway in Mukilteo;
QFC at Westgate in Edmonds, Fred Meyer on Alderwood Blvd & 164th and
at Central Market in downtown Mill Creek. At both QFC stores and at Fred
Meyer, we will staff two doors each and at Central Market, three doors. We will
work Friday May 22 and Saturday May 23 with two shifts both days at all
locations so we need to fill a total of 36 shifts.
We had intended to have sign up sheets at the March meeting to get
us started, but with the meeting cancelled, we will obviously need to at
least start our sign-up process on line. Hopefully, we will be able to
meet together at the Legion Hall in April.
With the shift from West Lynnwood QFC to Central Market, there will be no need for anyone to be out in the rain. We will all be able to be under shelter. Obviously, if too many people sign up at one location, some of us will need to move, so be prepared to be flexible. There will certainly be some of us who are unable to participate fully, so If you can do more than one shift, or can bring spouse, offspring or friends to help, please do so. Contact Duane to let him know your preferences and with any questions: [email protected]. On line sign-ups will be made available as soon as possible.
For five straight years — since she was an 8th grader at Brier Terrace Middle School — Olivia Olson has been a fixture during Edmonds Memorial Day events and at VFW Post 8880 awards ceremonies. Her first speech in 2014 came as the winner of 8870’s Patriot’s Pen essay contest for middle schoolers. That was followed by four more winning speeches — one for each year of high school — in the Voice of Democracy contest for high school students. Olivia is known for memorizing her speeches and using no notes when she addresses the crowd. She has also been the winner in VFW District 1 Voice of Democracy competetion.
Awarded the Fred M. Apgar scholarship, she will attend the University of Southern California in the fall of 2018.
One of the most important days of the year both from a fund raising standpoint and recognition of our fallen comrades, is Memorial Day. A time to remember all of our fallen brothers sisters of all wars.
If you have yet to sign up to help with poppy distribution, please do so at the April Post meeting, or by email to Bob Crawford or Commander Denton. We have four locations to staff: QFC Westgate in Edmonds, QFC Speedway in Mukilteo, Fred Meyer in North Lynnwood and Central Market in Miil Creek. This year all locations will operate on Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.
On Memorial Day itself, Monday, May 28, we will gather at Edmonds Memorial Cemetery for our usual Flag ceremony and at which time we will especially honor our fallen from the recent conflicts in the Persian Gulf region and all who have died in post 9/11 service.
Memorial Day poppy distribution will occur on Memorial Day weekend May 26-28 at Edmonds Way and Mukilteo QFC stores, Fred Meyer at 164th & Alderwood Mall Blvd. and at Central market in Mill Creek. Poppy coordinators Bob Crawford and Jim Mc Cann will be taking sign ups for Friday and Saturday shifts, plus Sunday shifts at Central Market in Mill Creek only. Please participate. This is the major fund raiser which allows the post to support veterans and our community projects. The more people we have on hand, the more poppies we hand out and the more money we collect to benefit our Veterans. Besides, it’s fun!
At below is John McCrae’s poem ”In Flanders Fields”; the source of the poppy as the object of remembrance for the fallen.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.