Issaquah ceremony honors veterans’ service

November 9, 2010

By David Hayes

Dave Waggoner is a stickler for military tradition and no other symbol better pays homage to those serving in uniform than the American flag.

“I’ve always wanted people who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country to never be forgotten, for their actions to be respected,” said Waggoner, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War.

That’s why he spearheaded the effort to ensure that the city of Issaquah always had new flags flying on its 11 flagpoles. In the continually growing tradition, the Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post No. 3436, hosts its fourth annual Veterans Day Service on Nov. 11.

Waggoner will present new flags purchased by the VFW to City Councilwoman Eileen Barber. Barber’s family has long ties to military service, from her father in World War II to her nephew, who is just back from serving his second tour in Iraq. She said she looks forward to the ceremony each year.

“It’s absolutely an important day,” she said. “We need to make sure we fly flags in proper shape, that they’re changed with the proper etiquette.”

This year’s ceremony will take place indoors, inside the Eagle Room at City Hall. Waggoner said the move was made because of inclement weather the past three out of four years.

The ceremony also includes guest speakers relating short stories of fallen friends or relatives memorialized on the monument at Veterans Memorial Park. This year, Marilyn Batura will speak about her brother George Larson, who was killed in World War II at Okinawa, Japan, and Linda Hjelm will speak about her classmate Skip McDonald, whose C-130 airplane was shot down over Vietnam.

In addition, the Issaquah High School Junior Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps will provide the color and honor guard for the service, and will perform a 21-gun salute at the end of the service.

Although the city has 11 flagpoles, Waggoner is presenting only 10 flags. The 11th pole, at Issaquah Hillside Cemetery, isn’t lit, so a flag is not flown there 24 hours a day.

Thanks to Waggoner’s efforts, with the help of Barber, the city lit the last three remaining flagpoles, so lights could shine on the flags 24 hours a day.

“U.S. Flag Code requires when displaying a flag it needs to be lit after dark,” Waggoner said. “If you don’t, then you need to take it down at sunset.”

A stickler for the rules as well as tradition, Waggoner was happy to help the city rectify that oversight.

Waggoner expects about 100 citizens to attend the Veterans Day ceremony and invites the general public to attend as well.

David Hayes: 392-6434, ext. 237, Comment at

If you go

VFW Post No. 3436 fourth annual Veterans Day service

  • 11 a.m. Nov. 11
  • Eagle Room, City Hall
  • 130 E. Sunset Way
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