(Post 160 retiring the colors as the 40-minute service concluded)
Just an hour and a half after a ferocious rainshower, the sun finally made its West Seattle Memorial Day Weekend 2010 debut in time for the annual service at Dignity Memorial-Forest Lawn Cemetery and Funeral Home (WSB sponsor) honoring those who have served.
Seattle Opera mezzo-soprano Melissa Plagemann sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America” (with attendees joining in the latter, as you can hear in our clip):
American Legion Post 160 Commander Chris Shea, a Navy veteran, reflected on the USA’s long history of fighting for our, and others’, rights: “We must remember, we are Americans. We do not give up – we value our freedom.” The dozens in attendance knew that firsthand – they included veterans as well as relatives of those who had served and are buried at Forest Lawn, crosses and flags marking their graves this weekend, like every Memorial Day. Shea acknowledged these are challenging times, but no challenge is insurmountable:
This was his fifth time speaking at the annual service. ADDED 6:39 PM: Kristen Rasmussen from the West Seattle Big Band (which you can see at the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse celebration next Thursday) played Taps:
That photo is courtesy of Jim Edwards (who has played it in previous years) and whose Life son Kyle Edwards from Scout Troop 284 was photographed by WSB as he walked up the knoll to place the wreath at the Forest Lawn Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:
(Almost 400 of the 1,300+ crosses that are up at Forest Lawn this weekend are brand-new, thanks to Kyle’s Eagle Scout project, his dad tells us.)