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Published: Friday, August 30, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Ceremonies pay tribute to those owed military honors

  • Bernhardt (foreground) watches as Sgt. Glenn Jones (left) and Specialist Oleg Chudak, of the Washington Army National Guard in Marysville, fold the Am...

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    Bernhardt (foreground) watches as Sgt. Glenn Jones (left) and Specialist Oleg Chudak, of the Washington Army National Guard in Marysville, fold the American flag after reading the names of local veterans who died but did not receive military honors.

  • With her husband, Jerome, at her side at the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery on Tuesday, Rhonda Hanson, 79, of Edmonds (center) comforts life-long friend Jo...

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    With her husband, Jerome, at her side at the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery on Tuesday, Rhonda Hanson, 79, of Edmonds (center) comforts life-long friend Joann Bernhardt, 78, of Everett, at the completion of a ceremony in which Army National Guard VFW and VFW Post 1040 volunteers bestowed military honors upon Bernhardt's husband, Kenneth.

  • Besides the reading of names and folding of the U.S. flag, the ceremony included taps and a gun salute by VFW Post 1040 of Lynnwood.

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    Besides the reading of names and folding of the U.S. flag, the ceremony included taps and a gun salute by VFW Post 1040 of Lynnwood.

  • At the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery on Tuesday, Joann Bernhardt, 78, of Everett and close friends watch and listen as Sgt. Glenn Jones of the National Gu...

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    At the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery on Tuesday, Joann Bernhardt, 78, of Everett and close friends watch and listen as Sgt. Glenn Jones of the National Guard reads the names of area veterans who died were not honored.

EDMONDS -- The rain held off.
Flags flapped in the breeze through the cemetery.
Joann Bernhardt sat with old friends remembering her husband, Kenneth Bernhardt, an 81-year-old retired Everett truck driver who died in May.
She scattered her husband's ashes then, but she didn't know he was eligible for military honors.
Bernhardt was a skinny, 6-foot, 4-inch guy nicknamed "Sprout" when he served as an Army paratrooper during the Korean War. One of the few memories he shared with his family about the war was of the cold Korean winters and of his sleeping bag, which was made for a much shorter man.
"We were ill-prepared for that war and perhaps for each war," said Joann Bernhardt, 78. "We all wish there would be no more war."
Late this summer friends told her about a monthly ceremony run by a state National Guard Military Funeral Honors team, veterans honoring veterans.
On Tuesday, members from Veterans of Foreign Wars posts in Edmonds, Snohomish and Lynnwood stood by. A cadre fired their rifles in unison three times in salute.
The breeze pushed away the dense, humid air, making it possible for people assembled at Edmonds Memorial Cemetery to hear clearly the three young National Guardsman. They announced the ceremony, read the names of 150 deceased veterans from Snohomish County honored this day and rang a bell after each name.
"It takes a lot to join the service," said Sgt. Glenn Jones, 26, from Edmonds, who serves in the National Guard. "Participating in the funeral honors team is a way to give back and show respect."
The National Guardsmen ceremoniously unfurled a U.S. flag.
A VFW bugler played taps.
Joann Bernhardt thought about her husband, Kenny, as she wiped away her tears.
"It was so sweet of these men to volunteer their time for this polished service," she said.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.
Information
The state National Guard Military Funeral Honors team conducts monthly ceremonies for deceased veterans who did not receive military honors at the time of their deaths. More information is available by calling Sgt. Chris Edwards at 206-940-7865.
Story tags » EdmondsEverettLynnwoodSnohomishU.S. Military

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