West Seattle’s Memorial Day service at Forest Lawn


Midway through this afternoon’s Memorial Day service at Forest Lawn Cemetery, the sun emerged, having battled its way through a morning and midday of murky gray. This was the 81st Memorial Day commemoration at the only burial ground of its kind in West Seattle, which sprawls over rolling little grassy hills east of High Point. West Seattle’s American Legion Post 160 organizes the service each year, nothing fancy, just simple and dignified to honor what – and who – Memorial Day is about. More ahead, including video highlights:


At right in that photo is Post 160’s Commander, Christopher Shea. If you think organizations like the American Legion are only for seniors, he is a reminder that’s not so. He led the ceremony, noting that the markers all around – decorated with flags and crosses last weekend by local Scouts – memorialize veterans of many generations:

Shea is a Navy veteran, like the Presidential Medal of Freedom winner whose words he featured in his remarks, Vermont C. Royster (background here). Also speaking at the service, Sam Cole, who wore his father’s uniform from World War I and noted that we are close to the 90th-anniversary dates of milestones from that time:

The service lasted less than an hour and included an invocation and benediction by Pastor Jerry Wilson; toward the event’s end, words gave way to the traditional tones of “Taps,” and the retiring of the colors:

“Taps” was played by Jim Edwards (of West Seattle Big Band fame), offscreen in the clip, but shown here:


Edwards’ son Kyle – a Life Scout with Troop 284 – also assisted in the service, laying the wreath (shown in photo at start of this report) on behalf of the West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival and American Legion Post 160, which also sponsors the West Seattle Grand Parade during Hi-Yu time each summer; this year it’s coming up on Saturday, July 19. Speaking of a festive mood – we had heard a ukulele band would play after today’s service; instead, the musicians were from the Duwamish Jazz Band, and they kicked off with “Yankee Doodle Dandy”:

1 Reply to "West Seattle's Memorial Day service at Forest Lawn"

  • ML May 27, 2008 (12:08 am)

    God Bless the solider’s of West Seattle, and all of Washington State.

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