West Seattle Memorial Day 2011 service: ‘For us, they fell…’

(Kristen Rasmussen from the West Seattle Big Band plays Taps, as Walt DeLong from American Legion Post 160 holds the flag)
For this year’s Memorial Day service at Dignity Memorial-Forest Lawn Cemetery (WSB sponsor) in West Seattle, American Legion Post 160 Commander Chris Shea paid tribute to two anniversaries: The sesquicentennial of the start of the Civil War (which has two veterans buried at Forest Lawn), and 10 years since 9/11. Shea also mentioned that the last surviving World War I veteran recently died.

His annual speech also told the story of three Medal of Honor recipients and their acts of bravery. And along with the traditional “Taps” (see top photo), music included patriotic songs by Seattle Opera mezzo-soprano Melissa Plagemann – our video has the entirety of the 35-minute service:

At the conclusion, that’s David Salove of Forest Lawn thanking attendees, who were greater in number than we recall from the recent years:

At the start of the service, bagpipe music echoed a short distance away. That wasn’t part of it – it was the Maccray family, Colin, Barbara, Finlay, and Ken, who come each year to remember, and to play:

Toward the end of his Memorial address, Post 160 Commander Shea exhorted those on hand to not only remember our military veterans – “they fought for us, and for us, they fell” – but also to keep the Midwest and South tornado victims in their thoughts as well.

ADDED: As a commenter reminds us, Boy Scout Troop 284 also plays a major role in this annual remembrance – by placing flags and crosses on veterans’ graves at Forest Lawn.

4 Replies to "West Seattle Memorial Day 2011 service: 'For us, they fell...'"

  • gannonjf May 30, 2011 (10:39 pm)

    I’m surprised there was no mention of Melissa Plagemann absolutely butchering America The Beautiful. I think the final could was 4 skipped/missed/omitted sections of song. It was pretty significant, pretty much guarentee she won’t be back any time soon after that.

    • WSB May 30, 2011 (11:31 pm)

      We are not in the habit of reviewing anyone’s performance at a free, public, volunteer-organized holiday ceremony. That said, she did indeed go from the first to the third verse, and didn’t sing the second/fourth. I’ve seen a lot of long songs truncated at public events, especially once you get past the part (in this case, the first verse) that everyone knows (I’ve never even heard the song beyond its famous first verse), so hard to say if it was a mistake or intentional – maybe I’m just a glass-half-full person, but how wonderful to have an operatic mezzo-soprano singing live in the first place. – TR

  • YIS May 31, 2011 (2:08 pm)

    I would like to thank our local Boy Scouts in WS Troop 284 for continuing the tradition of placing crosses at the graves of our military in Forest Lawn Cemetary. It is a service they do proudly.

    • WSB May 31, 2011 (2:25 pm)

      Absolutely. We reported on that back on Thursday night but I neglected to add the acknowledgment to this story (will do so now) – TR

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