West Seattle, Washington
Story, video, and photos by Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
“Americans must remember that freedom isn’t free.”
That reminder from American Legion Post 160 commander Keith Hughes, at this afternoon’s West Seattle Memorial Day ceremony at Forest Lawn (WSB sponsor) in High Point. Here’s our video of the entire ceremony, unedited:
Hughes, an Army veteran, exhorted the 50-plus on hand also to remember that those who gave their lives for our freedom “are not just statistics – they are real people … with real names … real faces … real people.”
All around the site of the half-hour ceremony near the cemetery’s flagpole, the “real names” were there to see, on plaques atop graves marked with flags and crosses placed by members of Boy Scout Troop 284, who also assisted in the ceremony. We stopped to take note afterward:
The half-hour ceremony urged not only honor for the dead, but help for the living – the veterans who made it home alive: “Join us, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and many other groups … help us make a difference,” exhorted Hughes. “Remember our fallen once a year is just not enough. Consider what you can do to help those who have come home.” (The West Seattle Veterans’ Center recently reopened at Post 160’s hall in The Triangle.)
Both Hughes (above) and VFW Post 2713 commander Ray Fairbank (below), who described himself as a Navy veteran from Vietnam and an Air Force veteran from Desert Storm, spoke of Memorial Day’s history, going back to its origins as Decoration Day a century and a half ago, finally taking its current name in the ’60s.
Fairbank, also the VFW’s state chaplain, urged people to behold the American flag and consider what it represents – “white for purity … red stripes of courage … blue for tranquility … the sacred symbol of freedom.” And he drew audible cries from some in the crowd as he read a wrenching essay from Reader’s Digest, “A Fallen Soldier’s Final Salute.”
Hughes recalled a U.S. Marine lost in Okinawa in the 1940s, and an Army specialist lost in Afghanistan this decade – different hometowns, different genders, same courage, he observed.
Along with their words, Ross Hauck sang stirring renditions of the National Anthem as well as “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America” – you can hear for yourself in our video of the ceremony, which concluded after echoing “Taps,” a release of white doves, and Troop 284 retiring the colors.
Though they were said toward the ceremony’s start, words from the invocation by chaplain and veteran Kelly Wadsworth (above) also seemed fitting in conclusion, a reminder that “cessation of war is not the same as enduring peace.”
After the somber observance, everyone was invited to a reception at Post 160’s Triangle headquarters; some headed out, some lingered, with a spirited song by the Duwamish Jazz Band:
The flags continued to wave in the breeze, honoring those “real names, real people” who had gone before.
One more state high-school championship to note: Just across the water, Vashon Island is celebrating its high school‘s first-ever 1A baseball state championship. Islanders are so excited, they welcomed the team with a parade, seen in the video above, shared with WSB by West Seattle resident Joel Schoenberg, whose son Sam Schoenberg (in the photo below) is a VHS player and was a star of the championship game:
Joel recaps: “Sam (former West Seattle Pony and Peewee player), is the leadoff hitter and outfielder for Vashon, went 3 for 3, with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI on a triple and 2 singles (and a steal to boot) in the championship game and was named Player of the Game.” The Vashon Pirates took the title by beating defending state champ Hoquiam 10-6 on Saturday in Yakima.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
For all the noise-making over the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin‘s Port of Seattle visit three months ago, it seemed barely a whisper was heard when news emerged three weeks ago that the largest cargo ship to visit the U.S. won’t make cross-Pacific runs after all.
But, Northwest Seaport Alliance deputy CEO Kurt Beckett told the West Seattle Transportation Coalition‘s May meeting, expanding the capacity of Terminal 5 in West Seattle is still a must.
Beckett’s visit to the WSTC last Thursday night was supposed to be related to the T-5 project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement, published by the port for public comment. The official deadline for that is June 21st, with two public meetings next week. But the discussion sailed beyond project specifics – which Beckett said he couldn’t discuss much anyway during the comment period – and into the waters of how “fluid” the seaport business is right now.
1:21 PM: Police are in North Delridge right now, investigating reported gunfire. A texter told us about it just after 1 pm, saying they had called 911 and were told others had too. No victim reported, but police have been searching an alley west of Delridge Way, between Edmunds and Hudson, and other nearby areas including a stairway along Genesee.
1:54 PM: We went to the area in hopes of finding officers to ask what if anything they’d found, but they apparently had moved on. However, we did talk to a lieutenant here at Forest Lawn, where the Memorial Day ceremony is about to start; he says the initial report was someone with a revolver, in which case no shell casings would have been left behind.
And our second wrapup on this past weekend’s state 3A track and field championships is from West Seattle High School – the report and photos are courtesy of head track/field coach Will Harrison:
The West Seattle Track Team concluded their season with a great performance at the Washington State 3A Track and Field Championships at Mount Tahoma High School, which began on Thursday, May 26th, and concluded on Saturday. The boys finished 12th and the girls finished 14th in the team standings.
The girls’ highlight of the meet was Lani Taylor capping off her undefeated senior season at the 400 Meter Dash with the State Championship in a winning time of 55.74 seconds. She also finished 3rd in the 200 Meter Dash (25.40 seconds) and 5th in the 100 Meter Dash (12.86) – both of which were won by Chief Sealth Senior Assa Kaba. Taylor ends her Wildcat Track career with school records in all three sprint events and plans to compete for Seattle Pacific University next year.
Also competing for West Seattle were school-record holders Natalie Fuller (15th Long Jump, 12th Triple Jump) and Maggie Cooper (15th in Pole Vault). Metro League Champion Lexi Ioane took 11th in Shot Put. Fuller will join the University of Washington crew team next year, and Ioane will likely compete in Basketball and Track at Adams State University in Colorado.
On the boys side, West Seattle left with runner-up finishes in both hurdle races. Senior Chaaka Trahan ran a time of 14.79 seconds to take 2nd in the 110 Meter Hurdles. Sophomore Cass Elliott, coming off a breakthrough performance in Friday’s 300 Meter Hurdle prelim in which he earned the No. 1 seed for the final (after coming in to the meet with the No. 5 seed), wound up second in the final on Saturday with a time of 39.10 seconds. Both hurdlers had busy weekends: Trahan, disappointed after a 14th place showing in the 300m Hurdles prelim, bounced to place 3rd in the Long Jump with a personal best of 23 feet, 2.5 inches. Elliott finished 18th in the 110m Hurdles prelim and anchored West Seattle’s 4 x 400 Meter relay on Thursday night, along with Rylee Farrison, Adam Wayss, and Miles Hairston.
Event-by-event results from the championships, held in Tacoma this past Thursday through Saturday, are here.
On Saturday, we reported on two local athletes winning state 3A track/field championships. Today, we have wrapups on their schools’ overall achievements at state, starting with Chief Sealth International High School:
Thanks to Nicole Sipila for sharing the photo of Sealth’s state track/field participants – Elijah Jackson, Quinn Wiley, Assa Kaba, Chole Myers, Mia Hyde – and the results:
*Assa Kaba is State Champion in the 100m and 200m
*Quinn Wiley placed 6th in the State in the 300m hurdles
*Mia Hyde placed 10th in the State in Discus
*Elijah Jackson placed 13th in the Triple Jump
*The Girls 4X200m Relay Team placed 3rd in the State!
Event-by-event results from the championships, held in Tacoma this past Thursday through Saturday, are here.
11:56 AM: Thanks to the texter who tipped us to this: Seattle City Light is investigating a power outage in the Westwood area. Its map shows 44 customers (homes/businesses) without electricity, north of Roxbury and east of 27th SW. No cause is listed yet, but the texter reported hearing an “explosion” – no Seattle Fire dispatches in the area, though.
3:08 PM: Just checked – still out, after more than three hours. SCL’s map attributes the outage to “equipment failure” and guesstimates that power will be restored by early evening.
6:41 PM: According to the SCL map, the power’s back on.
Thanks to volunteers of all ages, led by West Seattle-based Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2713, The Junction’s flags are up in honor of Memorial Day.
Between now and then, you’ll find local veterans’ groups at the Forest Lawn (6701 30th SW; WSB sponsor) Memorial Day ceremony at 2 pm, all welcome.
(Thanks to Vicki for the photo from Troop 284’s volunteer work at Forest Lawn last week)
TRAFFIC/TRANSIT: No regular traffic report today because of the holiday but you can check local cams here. … NO bridge closure tonight because of the holiday … Metro buses are on a Sunday schedule … The West Seattle Water Taxi is on a Sunday schedule … Sound Transit buses are on a Sunday schedule … Washington State Ferries‘ Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run is on its regular weekday schedule.
OTHER HOLIDAY NOTES: Seattle Parks explains here what’s open and what’s not … Schools are closed … Seattle Public Library branches are closed … It’s a U.S. Postal Service holiday … And if you’re going to a neighborhood with on-street pay stations/metered parking, know that this is a city “parking holiday.”
What’s happening today/tonight:
HELP WITH JUNCTION FLAGS: VFW Post 2713 can use your help putting up and taking down the Stars and Stripes in the West Seattle Junction – meet outside Cupcake Royale at California/Alaska by 8:50 am for the morning help and by 4:50 pm for the evening removal.
HIGHLAND PARK SPRAYPARK, DAY 3: If the forecast holds, this could be the first good day for playing in the water. 11 am-8 pm. (1100 SW Cloverdale)
COLMAN POOL, FINAL DAY OF FIRST PRE-SEASON WEEKEND: Swim sessions noon-7 pm at the city-run outdoor saltwater pool on the shore at Lincoln Park – here’s the schedule. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)
TOUR THE ALKI POINT LIGHTHOUSE: 1 pm-4 pm (last group admitted at 3:40 pm), this year’s first weekend of free tours at Alki Point Lighthouse concludes. (Alki SW/Beach Drive SW)
MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY: Honor the reason for Memorial Day by attending the traditional ceremony presented by American Legion Post 160 and community partners this afternoon at Forest Lawn (WSB sponsor), 2 pm, all welcome. (6701 30th SW)
SILENT MOVIE COMEDIES, ACCOMPANIED, AT KENYON HALL: 7:30 pm at Kenyon Hall, Donald Soson is back to play along with silent-movie comedies – see our listing for info on the show and how to get your ticket. And when you’re there, don’t miss the root-beer floats! (7904 35th SW)
MONDAY QUIZ: 7:30 pm, all ages, at The Skylark – with prizes! (3803 Delridge Way SW)