Ceremonies pay tribute to those owed military honors

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.

More in Local News

Mill Creek councilman no longer lives in city, panel finds

The Canvassing Board determined Sean Kelly is not eligible to vote there.

A Democrat and ex-Republican team up to end two-party politics

Brian Baird and Chris Vance unveil a new organization called Washington Independents.

The beavers weren’t happy, either, about Mill Creek flooding

A tree fell on their dam, sending a rush of water into a neighborhood near Jackson High School.

Two windsurfers rescued from Port Susan near Kayak Point

The men had failed to return to shore during Sunday’s windstorm.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Stranger offered candy to student walking home from school

The Granite Falls School District is warning families about… Continue reading

Coming together as family

Special-needs students and teachers at the Transition Center cooked up a Thanksgiving feast.

Lynnwood’s property tax promise to homeowners sort of true

They were told consolidation of fire departments would save, but new rates likely will be more.

Woman who died in 5-car crash identified

A car driven by Susan E. Sill rear-ended another vehicle Wednesday on Smokey Point Boulevard.

Most Read