Gold Star Families honored during Edmonds Veterans Plaza ceremony

Edmonds Mayor Mike Rosen speaks at the Edmonds Veterans Plaza Memorial Day event.

Local veterans and community members gathered at Edmonds Veterans Plaza Monday afternoon for a short Memorial Day ceremony that included the unveiling of a new bench honoring Gold Star Families. 

Members of VFW Post 8870 and American Legion Post 66 hosted the event, which followed the larger Memorial Day gathering at Edmonds Memorial Cemetery. Gold Star Families include the immediate family members of a service member who lost their life in combat. 

Speaking during the event, Edmonds Mayor Mike Rosen emphasized that one day is not enough to honor these fallen service members, adding that the men and women being recognized on Memorial Day are the country’s true heroes. 

Dan Mullene presents a check to Monica McNeal of the Gold Star Families Foundation.

Dan Mullene, commander of American Legion Post 66, stated that losing a family member is another ultimate sacrifice, one that Gold Star Families must endure every day. He presented a check for $500 to Monica McNeal of the Gold Star Families Foundation to assist its continuing work to honor local veterans. 

Michael Reagan, artist and founder of the Fallen Heroes Project, which provides hand-drawn portraits of men and women who have sacrificed their lives while serving in the military, spoke about the positive effect talking about lost loved ones has on their families. 

Veteran Michael Reagan said it’s important to remember the names of those who gave their lives for their country.

Through the Fallen Heroes Project, Reagan provides families with hand-drawn portraits of men and women who have sacrificed their lives while serving in the military. 

“No one can forget somebody if you talk about them,” Reagan said. ”All they need us to do is remember them.”

Flags lined the paths at the Edmonds Veterans Plaza, each tagged with the name of a fallen service member.

A Vietnam combat veteran, Reagan shared stories of the friends he lost while serving. He stated that his friend Vinnie, who died in Reagan’s arms in Vietnam, has become the muse for his work with the Fallen Heroes project — and reinforced his idea that no one can be forgotten if their name is continually spoken.

To drive home that point, American flags with names of fallen service members lined the plaza during the ceremony, honoring those lost in combat.

The event concluded with the dedication of the new Gold Star Families bench, which sits as a memorial to honor those families who bear the grief of a lost service member every day.

— Story and photos by Logan Bury

  1. Thanks, Logan!
    Great to have you back in Edmonds and on staff at Edmonds News.
    Keep up the good work on articles and photos like this one!
    God bless America!
    Thank you veterans and Gold Star families.
    You’re appreciated and prayed for.

  2. A beautiful park to honor those who served. Thanks, Michael for reminding those us to always say the name of the fallen. Gold Star Mothers say one dies twice…one a physical death and the second when their name is no longer spoken.

  3. I am a new member of VFW Post 8870. It is a great group of Veterans. But Michael Reagan is a national treasure. An extremely talented sketch Artist and very moving speaker.

  4. A hearty well done to my VFWS/AL comrades. Sorry I had to miss this year’s Memorial Day event and hope to see you all soon.

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