VIDEO: ‘Let us be peacemakers,’ urges speaker @ Forest Lawn’s West Seattle Memorial Day remembrance

That was the most touching moment of today’s Memorial Day remembrance at Forest Lawn in West Seattle – the presentation of a U.S. flag to Gregorio Garcia, one of a dozen Filipino American World War II veterans honored with Congressional Gold Medals in 2017. This afternoon’s event had a special spotlight on Filipino Americans, as it was held in partnership with the National Federation of Filipino American Associations.

NaFFAA’s national president Mariela Fletcher spoke about being “united in remembrance and gratitude” for veterans, who “embody faith and resilience” as a “guiding light.” She also reflected on “these troubling times” and urged everyone present, “let us be peacemakers.” Also urging a peaceful resolution for current conflicts was Maricres Valdez Castro. who sang the national anthem and read a poem about her grandfather’s brothers, who died in WWII:

Other speakers included John Miller, with a brief tribute to those who gave their lives “knowing that our country is worth any risk.”

Here’s the event in its entirety, starting with the anthem:

The flag-handling was by members of the Seattle Police Honor Guard.

Flags in the cemetery were placed by volunteers Shawn Vogt and Vina Vogt:

This is the first year that Forest Lawn has held the previously annual ceremony since 2019.

2 Replies to "VIDEO: 'Let us be peacemakers,' urges speaker @ Forest Lawn's West Seattle Memorial Day remembrance"

  • Tira Villanueva May 27, 2024 (10:11 pm)

    I went to the Washelli ceremony and placed flags there. I had no idea there was a ceremony here.  Also, I believe John Miller is my dear friend from “long ago” with my brother and his sister in grade school/Jr High in Magnolia.  If there is anyway you can give him my contact info, I would love to reconnect. 

    • WSB May 27, 2024 (11:38 pm)

      Hi! Sorry you missed it – we published multiple advance announcements and you can always check our Event Calendar at

      Anyway, I don’t have direct contact info for any of the speakers – it was all organized by Forest Lawn – but general manager Greg Carlson likely does – Forest Lawn contact info should be on their website at – TR

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