For the past three years, veterans have been providing military funeral honors to deceased veterans who at the time of their death had not received such honors. Providing such honors is a ceremony that reflects our nation’s gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our nation. It is the final demonstration of respect our nation can provide to family members of our veterans. Every veteran who has worn the uniform of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard has earned the right to have military funeral honors.
Under the leadership of Commander Martin Spani, members of VFW Post 1040 in Lynnwood have volunteered to serve as members of the Post’s Honor Guard. Commander Spani, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam, serves as the Commander of the Honor Guard unit, which includes a bugler who plays taps and seven riflemen who fire a 21 gun salute. All members of the Honor Guard purchase their own uniforms and volunteer countless hours of their time to honor the memory of our deceased veterans.
In conjunction with the 81st Brigade Special Troops Battalion of the Washington State National Guard, VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard conducts these ceremonies three times a month at regularly scheduled ceremonies. Ceremonies are held monthly at Washelli and Acacia Cemeteries to honor King County veterans. On the last Tuesday of each month, ceremonies are rendered at Edmonds Cemetery for the families of Snohomish County veterans. In addition, the Honor Guard is asked to provide ceremonies at numerous private burial ceremonies throughout the Puget Sound.
At each ceremony, families are presented with a hand-crafted wooden box that contains three volley cartridges from the 21-gun salute. Each box has the deceased veteran’s service emblem attached. The National Guard Military Funeral Honors team performs a flag folding ceremony and presents each family with an American flag.
For more information regarding the VFW Post 1040 Honor Guard, contact Honor Guard Captain Frank Martinez at 425-697-4102.
– Story and photos submitted by Fred Apgar, VFW Post 8870