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

Police presence returns to Edmonds School District

Jacob Hubby is set to walk the halls of Meadowdale High School as a school resource officer.

Mukilteo crabber missing; his boat was found at Hat Island

Frank Urbick set out Thursday morning but did not return.

Police looking for leads in case of missing Snohomish man

Henry John Groeneveld, 63, was last seen on Monday, when he said something about going to “the river.”

Separate Everett fires send man to hospital, damage boat

The man was hospitalized for smoke inhalation from the early morning fire.

Suspected escort charged with felony assault, robbery

She allegedly told police she shot the man in the head “because he was performing (a sex act) wrong.”

Lives were on the line

After an estimated 350K emergency calls over 35 years, dispatcher Steve Williams is set to retire.

Celebrating the origins of Christmas

LDS church holds annual nativity festival featuring more than 600 sets.

Drive-by shooting reported in Marysville neighborhood

Police said there was no evidence to indicate it was targeted at a specific person or property.

Trooper’s car struck when he was arresting man for DUI

She drove away but was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence and hit-and-run.

Most Read