Off the Press

May 31, 2011

Veterans have earned their place of honor

I had tears in my eyes Memorial Day as about 200 people gathered at Hillside Cemetery to honor and remember veterans.

Kathleen R. Merrill Press editor

I’ve always thought that veterans got short shrift in some respects. But on this day, those who are living, those who have passed away and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice were the focus of young and old. Thank you to everyone who turned out.

I loved seeing the people, again young and old, who have served or are serving their country, lined up in front of the crowd. It always touches my heart especially to see the men and women who served in Vietnam and World War II standing up there, saluting the flag or standing at attention.

I hope you saw our second annual section — Lest We Forget — in last week’s paper. We are continuing to collect photos of and information about people from our community who have served in all branches of the armed forces.

Read more

Off the Press

May 24, 2011

Here’s to those who help us remember

Sometimes we all need a little reminder. Thank goodness we have people like Dave Waggoner in the Issaquah community.

Bob Taylor Press sports editor

Waggoner, a quartermaster in the Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars post, once left a small U.S. flag at the office so I would always remember Memorial Day. The flag still flies above my desk.

Each year, Waggoner, members of the VFW post and local Boy Scouts plant flags and/or crosses on the graves of former veterans at Hillside Cemetery for Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Waggoner makes sure these former vets are remembered.

Waggoner expressed a concern in an April Issaquah Press story that people are forgetting U.S. veterans. With Memorial Day coming up, none of us should forget veterans, especially those in our family.

I do a roll call every Memorial Day, setting aside some time to remember the veterans in my family.

Read more

Honor veterans in Memorial Day section

April 12, 2011

Dave Waggoner said he is worried that people are forgetting about U.S. veterans.

He recalled a phrase — selective disengagement — that journalist Bob Woodward had used.

“He said people across the United States selectively disengage from war, whether it be Afghanistan or Iraq or Korea or Vietnam or World War II,” said Waggoner, quartermaster with the Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

When society selectively disengages from wars, it loses focus on the people who fight them and their experiences.

“The cost of war is people, and the people of Issaquah paid that price for their service,” Waggoner said.

The Issaquah Press is working to reverse that trend. For the second consecutive year, in its Memorial Day issue, The Press will publish profiles of Issaquah men and women who served in the U.S. armed forces.

Read more

Milestone anniversary fosters new hope for veterans

February 8, 2011

Gathered for their regular meeting on Jan. 18, members of the Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post No. 3436, drank coffee, traded stories and conducted business as usual.

Yet despite the routine atmosphere, this was no ordinary day.

Exactly 75 years earlier, the original founders of the Albert Larson Post signed the VFW charter, establishing one of Issaquah’s most historic organizations, which has been serving the city ever since.

“They formed 75 years ago, but are still going strong,” said Richard Whipple, the adjutant and quartermaster of the Department of Washington. “The recognition lets them know they’ve done a fantastic job.”

At the meeting, Whipple presented the post with a 75th anniversary certificate, known as the Diamond Jubilee Award. It’s an honor only a select group of posts have achieved, yet the local VFW members said they’re simply doing their duty to help the community.

Read more

Issaquah residents gather to celebrate Veterans Day

November 11, 2010

Members of the Issaquah High School Junior Naval ROTC Honor Guard fire a volley during the 21-gun salute Thursday during a Veterans Day observance at Issaquah City Hall. By Greg Farrar

UPDATED — 4:15 p.m. Nov. 11, 2010

Never forget.

The theme was reiterated throughout the annual Veterans Day ceremony at City Hall on Thursday, hosted by the Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3436.

Read more

Veterans Day Observance / Nov. 11, 2010

November 11, 2010

Issaquah ceremony honors veterans’ service

November 9, 2010

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.

Read more

Press Editorial

May 25, 2010

‘Lest we forget’ section honors our veterans

Veterans, we salute you! This issue of The Issaquah Press is the first Memorial Day remembrance of Issaquah men and women veterans “lest we forget.” Please know that your service to our country is appreciated, no matter whether you are currently serving in the armed forces or did your duty decades ago.

We hope this impressive collection of photos remembering our local soldiers will grow and become an annual tradition.

The idea began with two local veterans — Press Editor Kathleen Merrill and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3436 Assistant Quartermaster Dave Waggoner. Together, they approached a few local businesses who willingly agreed to help cover printing costs. The Press publicized the search for local veterans, while Waggoner handed out flyers to his fellow VFW friends and at other locations, including the Issaquah Farmers Market. Read more

Veterans’ families need to decide on grave markers

April 27, 2010

Once again this year, the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars plans to continue its two-decade tradition of placing flags and crosses at this year’s Memorial Day service at Hillside Cemetery.

And once again, members need input from the families of veterans buried there to get the job done.

This year’s Memorial Day ceremony is at 10 a.m. May 31 at the cemetery.

In 2008, a resident complained about the placement of crosses at the gravesites. The VFW and Flintoft’s Funeral Home now ask families of veterans buried at the cemetery to sign a form authorizing the placement of various symbols, including a flag, cross, Star of David or other symbols that a family recommends at the gravesite. Families can choose more than one symbol or none.

Some family members may not want their veteran’s grave marked with a cross and it’s possible that a U.S. flag may not be appropriate for some graves, too, he said.

Read more

Issaquah Valley Grange honors David Waggoner as its man of the year

April 20, 2010

David Waggoner seems to be the community’s go-to guy when a volunteer is needed. Take last year, for example.

Waggoner of course accepted the offer when U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert asked him to serve on the board of volunteers of the Honor Flights Project. The project flies World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to view the national memorial for the war.

“I was honored to give my time and effort to get as many of them back to D.C. as we could,” said Waggoner, 66, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War.

Because of his selfless efforts helping those in the community, the Issaquah Valley Grange is honoring him with its Man of the Year award for 2010 next week.

For a man who seemingly was never short on time to volunteer for one group or another, Waggoner was surprisingly short of words when it came to being honored for his efforts.

“I am humbled by the man of the year,” he said. “I have never been one before. I have no other words to say.”

Read more

« Previous PageNext Page »