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.

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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.

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Press Editorial

November 9, 2010

Veterans Day history is worth understanding

Thursday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day. At precisely 11 a.m., a wreath will be laid at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery to honor and thank those who have served in the armed services of the United States.

The time, 11 a.m., is symbolic. It was at this time on Nov. 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month), that a cease-fire agreement was signed, bringing an official end to World War I, “the war to end all wars.” Read more

Boy Scouts Flag Retirement Ceremony / Oct. 9, 2010

October 12, 2010

Off The Press

June 1, 2010

More than 100 people showed up Memorial Day at Hillside Cemetery to pay their respects to veterans, so it was a shame the annual ceremony had to be cancelled.

Kathleen R. Merrill Press editor

There is little parking at the cemetery. Most of it is along roads through the place. Unfortunately, many graves are close to those roads. It’s a juggling act to find a spot where you can be off the road enough and also away from nearby grave markers.

People were sad to be turned away. But Dave Waggoner, assistant quartermaster of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3436, who heads up the ceremony, said safety for everyone was the main concern.

On May 29, as volunteers were walking the rows, placing flags and crosses on the final resting places of veterans, people were slipping on the already saturated, muddy ground. It was much worse two days later. In fact, cars that had pulled off the road were leaving deep ruts in places, and by Memorial Day one had even driven over a headstone.

Next year, a contingency plan will be made for inclement weather. So, if you turned out for this year’s ceremony only to be turned away, please return. It’s so important these men and women are not forgotten.

I had the pleasure of meeting a man out there in the rain who refuses to forget — Art Converse who lives in the May Valley area. Art served four years in Vietnam. On Memorial Day, he came to the cemetery looking for the grave of Robert Hoskins, one of 19 men and women named on the monument at Veterans Memorial Field as being killed or missing in action during wartime.

Art had seen Hoskins’ picture in our section “Lest we forget” that ran May 26. Art said he noticed Hoskins was a fellow Marine and he didn’t know whether the young man, who was 19 when he died, still had family in the area who would remember him.

His kindness brought tears to my eyes, as it does now to recount the tale. Art brought some flags to the cemetery, and specifically one to put on Hoskins’ grave. I watched him for a moment — without a coat, without an umbrella — at the grave we directed him to. He stood for a while, and knelt at some point, placing the flag in the soft ground. He also put flags on two other veterans’ graves.

Thank you, Art, for your service, and for remembering the service of others. Read more

Memorial service planned by VFW

May 25, 2010

The Issaquah Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 3436 hosts a Memorial Day Service at Hillside Cemetery at 10 a.m. May 31, just below the Veterans Section.

The Issaquah High School Junior Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps unit will provide the Color Guard and Honor Guard for a 21-gun salute. The Liberty High School Junior Naval ROTC will provide buglers.

VFW sponsored Boy Scout Troop No. 709 and Cub Scout Pack No. 639 will help set up at 9 a.m. May 29 and take down decorations from the cemetery after the ceremony. There will be someone at the cemetery between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday to hand out forms for people to specify the symbols — such as crosses and flags — they want on their veterans’ graves.

Lest we forget

May 25, 2010

Click here to view The Issaquah Press’ Veterans Section.

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.

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