Edmonds Veterans Day observance honors sacrifices of service members and families

Keynote speaker Michael Reagan — an artist, founder of the Fallen Heroes Project, and Vietnam veteran — spoke of the memories and experiences that bind veterans together.

More than 75 veterans, their families and community members filled Edmonds Veterans Plaza Friday morning to honor and give thanks to those who have served in the military and to the military families who support them and sacrifice with them.

After welcoming remarks from Carl Kurfess, Commander of VFW Post 8870 and the invocation by Post Chaplain Dan Doyle, Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson delivered introductory remarks.

Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson spoke of the sacrifices of veterans and their families.

“You carry the weight many cannot bear,” he began, addressing veterans and their families. “It is a constant reminder that what we have today came with a price that includes not only serving in far-flung locations, often in harm’s way, but the days and nights away from family, missing holidays, childrens’ birthdays and more.”

Concluding with a quotation from Gen. Douglas MacArthur on the meaning of the words duty, honor and country, Nelson stressed that these are not just words that are said, but for veterans it is the words they live.

Edmonds City Council President and Air Force veteran Vivian Olson and Councilmember Jenna Nand were on hand.
Former Edmonds City Councilmember Tom Mesaros (left) is joined by City Councilmember Dave Teitzel and Planning Board Chair Roger Pence.

Keynote speaker Michael Regan, founder of the Fallen Heroes Project, then spoke of the things that tie veterans together.

“All veterans have one thing in common,” he began, “– memories. Each of us who have served walks a different path. Some were wonderful, allowing us to experience different cultures and people. Others were not pretty or nice, and some of these left scars we don’t like to talk about.

“If you’re not telling your stories and you need to, call me,” he concluded. “I don’t celebrate Veterans Day one day a year — it’s every day for me. When someone dies for me, it’s the greatest gift anyone can give me.”

Mike Schindler, founder and CEO of Operation Military Family, spoke of the sacrifices made by veterans and the families that support them.

The second keynote speaker was Mike Schindler, founder and CEO of Operation Military Family.

“I had a prepared speech today, but I’m not going to give it,” he began. “Instead, I want to tell you about a message I received this morning from my daughter, telling me how proud she is of me and my service to our country. It really choked me up. For me, this was a great reminder that because of all who have served and the sacrifices they have made, my daughter is today able to live her passion and pursue a career in medicine.

Young children of parents and siblings who have served pick up family member buttons.

“I served not for political reasons,” he concluded, “but because I love this country. I don’t believe God put us here to be small — we are here for a reason. Now go out there and do something amazing!”

The ceremony concluded with the traditional bugler playing taps and ended with a rendition of Amazing Grace performed on the bagpipes.

Bugler Chris Edwards performs taps to honor veterans.


The program concluded with Amazing Grace performed by Kyle Gaul on the bagpipes.

— Story and photos by Larry Vogel

  1. Sounds like a great ceremony. Wish I couldn”t been there because I had to work today. Thanks to all the men and women who have served in the military from Snohomish county. Because of your sacrifices I have been able to live and thruve in a wonderful area.

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