by LUKE PUTVIN firstname.lastname@example.org
Hundreds gathered at the Memorial Day ceremony in Veterans Park on May 27. The program was dedicated to veterans of the Korean War. Those in attendance included: 32nd Legislative District Representative Cindy Ryu; Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith; City Council President Benjamin Goodwin; City Council Vice President Christine Frizzell; City Councilmembers George Hurst, Ruth Ross and Shannon Sessions.
The program began with the entrance of the Northwest Junior Pipe Band (NWJPB) playing, “The Marine Corps Hymn” followed by a prayer from U.S. Army veteran Patrick McGrady. Makenna Sessions, daughter of Councilmember Sessions, sang the national anthem.
Mayor Nicola Smith welcomed everyone to Veterans Park. “I am deeply honored and humbled to be with you today,” she said. “One day a year, we celebrate those that have fallen, but we are thankful for their sacrifice every day of the year.” She encouraged everyone to visit the Veterans Museum at Heritage Park. “Lynnwood is committed to making the city and region veteran-friendly and welcoming.”
Chairwoman of the Housing, Community Development & Veterans committee and 32nd Legislative District Representative Cindy Ryu, offered her gratitude to veterans for, “Protecting democracy in Korea, around the world and protecting American democracy.” Ryu was former mayor of Shoreline and the first Korean American woman mayor in the United States. “Lynnwood is home,” she said, recalling a house nearby Veterans Park in which she used to live.
Larry Cambronero, Commander of the Bataan-Corregidor Survivors Association and Their Families, remembered those who died and were forced into Japanese labor camps as a result of the Bataan Death March in April 1942. Cambronero mentioned how, in World War II only 10 hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese bombed and invaded the Philippines. “In freedom we have responsibility,” Cambronero said. “All of us who are living in Washington with these inalienable rights, are standing on the shoulders of the giants from World War II.”
Cambronero’s grandfather, Rufino Cambronero, served in World War I and survived the Bataan Death March in World War II. Isaac Cambronero, Larry Cambronero’s father, also served in World War II and was a guerilla fighter during the liberation of Manila.
The NWJPB then performed “Battle’s O’er” as a tribute to firefighters and police officers. The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars proceeded with the laying of the wreaths. Tiarrah Rintamaki, sister of U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Stephen Rintmaki, laid the Gold Star Wreath. Cpl. Stephen Rintmaki was killed in action in Iraq on September 16, 2004.
The emcee for the event, US Marine Corps Veteran Commander Martin Spani, asked the audience to remember those who had fallen while the Armed Forces Medley played. Boy Scout Troop 49 presented the Armed Forces flags during the song.
The program concluded with the NWJPB offering a salute to all veterans with the song, “Going Home.”
The City of Lynnwood thanked the Boy Scouts of America, Lynnwood Troop 49 and Cub Scout Pack 331 for their assistance of placing the flags in the park and distributing programs.