More than 150 veterans, families and friends were on hand Monday afternoon at the Edmonds Veterans Plaza, 250 5th Ave. N., for a two-pronged Memorial Day observance — dedicating a new addition to the plaza and honoring veterans of the Korean War with presentations of the Ambassador for Peace medal.
Veterans eligible to receive the Ambassador of Peace Medal must have served during the Korean War from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953, or have participated in UN peacekeeping operations until the end of 1955.
After welcoming the attendees, VFW Post 8870 Commander Mike Denton introduced Ron Clyborne, who chaired the committee that envisioned and ultimately brought the Edmonds Veterans Plaza into being.
“Today we’re dedicating the last major piece of construction on the Plaza,” said Clyborne. “The committee wanted something interactive, that would fill the need to provide critical information to veterans, family members and friends.”
Clyborne went on to describe how some veterans come back from military service needing a little assistance, and that too often they and their families don’t know how to find it. One purpose of the kiosk is to provide information 24 hours a day on the full range of services available to veterans. It also provides a guide to the plaza itself, showing the names of veterans honored and where to find them inscribed.
“If it helps save one life, prevent a suicide, point to a path out of drug abuse, or helps with other problems facing our veterans, we’ve reached our goal in building it,” Clyborne said. “Today we dedicate this kiosk to all the men and women who didn’t return.”
Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling was also present, and spoke of how the plaza represents and reflects the high level of caring and gratitude in the Edmonds community.
“The plaza is a wonderful example of how the community comes together to complete a big idea,” Earling said. “It’s a beautiful and fitting setting to honor those who served.”
Moving into the presentation of the Ambassador for Peace medals, Lynnwood Hero’s Café director Gary Walderman was joined by a representative of the Seattle Korean Consulate in presenting medals and certificates to more than 15 Korean veterans or family members on behalf of veterans. The medals are an expression of appreciation from the Korean government to American service men and women.
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel