Community members and veterans gathered at Lynnwood’s Veterans Park Monday morning for the city’s annual Memorial Day tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country.
In welcoming attendees, Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell stressed that the city would remain “a veteran and service personnel-supported city that honors the service and sacrifice of our community heroes and the families that support them.”
Frizzell also reminded the crowd that Veterans Park will be undergoing a renovation in the next several months, because Lynnwood in 2019 was selected to receive the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument — honoring those families who have lost loved ones during military service. Construction is scheduled to start soon, and tThe ribbon cutting for the monument has already been scheduled — for 2 p.m. on Nov. 2.
Along with the new monument, Veterans Park will be receiving updates such as ADA parking stalls, accessible pathways, bench seating, an expanded plaza area and landscape renovations. Read more in our earlier story here.
Lynnwood has also been designated a Purple Heart City — “one of the most prestigious honors a city can receive,” the mayor said, noting it is given to cities that have “stated their committment to remember the acts of bravery by our community’s military service personnel.”
In addition, Frizzell pointed to the “Lynnwood Honors Our Veterans” sign, sponsored by the Heroes Café and installed in March 2022 on 44th Avenue West, adding there are plans to place more signs throughout the city.
The Heroes’ Cafe is a widespread network aimed at supporting veterans across South Snohomish County.
The featured speaker for Lynnwood’s Memorial Day event was Lt. Col. Dan Matthews, a U.S. Air Force veteran and Mukilteo resident who flew combat missions in both Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm.
“It seems so little in this way to say thank you but we do thank you and bless you for what you did,” Matthews said, referring to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. “We were not there but by being here, we now show and declare we will remember. We now bring close to our hearts the meaning and the value of your life and your gift to each of us, to our country, to our way of life and to humanity. All gave some, some gave all so we might live today in freedom.”
The ceremony was emceed by VFW Post 1040 Commander John C. Beam with an invocation by Post 1040 Chaplain Gary Walderman. It also included music by the Northwest Jr. Pipe Band, the laying of wreaths by members of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, a rifle salute by the Post 1040 Honor Guard and Echo Taps performed by Post 1040 bugler Glenn Ledbetter and Lukas Green, an active duty member of the U.S. Coast Guard. BSA Troop 49 presented the Armed Forces flags during a playing of the Armed Forces Medley.
— Story and photos by Teresa Wippel