Tacoma honors veterans at War Memorial Park

By J.M. Simpson on November 11, 2014

Remembrance is a simple experience.

At exactly 11 a.m. at the War Memorial Park in Tacoma, several hundred veterans, family members, friends and a handful of elected officials met on a cold and windy morning overlooking the Narrows Bridges to remember all veterans.

"We are here to pay honor to those who have served," said Bill Baarsma, a former mayor of Tacoma.

The Tacoma Historical Society and the Edward B. Rhodes/Parkland, Post 2 American Legion presented the eighth annual Day of Remembrance Service.

>>> Cadet Senior Chief Petty Officer Chris Godfrey stood at attention during the service. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

"This is becoming a wonderful tradition," comment Col. Andy Leneweaver, USA (Ret). "It's also interesting to note that this ceremony is the only one being done within Tacoma."

Washington Army National Guard soldiers and Stadium High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps carried the colors.

>>> Approximately 250 veterans, family members, friends and elected officials attended the eighth Day of Remembrance Ceremony. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

The Brass Unlimited played one patriotic song after another, the notes sometimes becoming lost in the high winds.

Speakers were short and to the point as they thanked veterans for their service.

For one veteran, the ceremony by the Narrows brought a wistful smile.

"It is good to be remembered," said Charles Johnson, a 94-year old World War II veteran of Omaha Beach.

>>> Charles Johnson, a 94-year old Army veteran of World War II and Omaha Beach, smiled broadly during the ceremony. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson