A monument devoted to the households of fallen U.S. navy members was unveiled Wednesday in Lynnwood’s newly redeveloped Veterans Memorial Park.
Tons of gathered within the park – positioned at forty fourth Avenue West and 194th Road Southwest – to witness the revealing of the Gold Star Households Memorial Monument. Gold Star Households are these relations of navy personnel who died within the line of responsibility. Through the ceremony, Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell thanked the Gold Star Moms in attendance and guaranteed them they weren’t alone of their grief.
“Dropping a toddler is a heavy, heavy burden however comprehend it’s not one you need to carry alone,” she stated. “We hope this monument and this park will likely be a spot of remembrance and reflection for you and your households.”
In 2019, Lynnwood was chosen over 4 different cities to obtain the monument. To fund the venture, the Washington State American Gold Star Moms partnered with the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Basis, which is devoted to honoring and paying tribute to households who’ve sacrificed a liked one in service of their nation.
Williams was a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from WWII who had plans to see a monument devoted to Gold Star Households in all 50 states. Although Williams died in June of this 12 months, his work will proceed by way of his basis, stated speaker and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Michael Reagan.
“These are the individuals this nation owes probably the most to,” he stated. “This (monument) represents what Woody has achieved.”
Lynnwood’s monument is exclusive in comparison with others. Along with honoring those that have been POW/MIA, it’s the first monument to acknowledge Indigenous veterans and people who died by suicide, stated keynote speaker retired Lieutenant Common Mark Smart.
“The significance of what this (monument) stands for goes effectively past the Gold Star Households,” he stated.
Surrounding the monument are 22 stone seats in honor of service members who died by suicide after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Below the monument, sand from Iwo Jima, Japan; water from Belleau Wooden, France and three navy problem cash have been buried in its basis.
Together with the revealing of the brand new monument, Veterans Park additionally acquired updates resembling ADA parking stalls, accessible pathways, bench seating, an expanded plaza space and panorama renovations. Future work will embrace restoring 300 bricks engraved with native veterans’ names and including the names to granite paneling behind the monument.
The monument is the two hundredth to be put in within the nation and the third to return to Washington state. Through the ceremony, Deputy Director of Washington State Division of Affairs David Puente Jr. learn a letter from Gov. Jay Inslee, who praised the Gold Star Moms for his or her tireless work to deliver the monument to Lynnwood.
“Washingtonians and certainly all Individuals owe these Gold Star Households an incredible debt,” Inslee wrote. “We honor you in your sacrifice to our state and nation. Your dedication to selling consciousness ensures that our kids and communities keep in mind our fallen and perceive the price of freedoms we maintain pricey.”
The monument is the newest in Lynnwood’s efforts to be a “veteran-friendly” metropolis, stated U.S. Air Pressure veteran and Lynnwood Metropolis Councilmember Shannon Periods. Different efforts embrace the Heroes’ Cafe – a widespread community geared toward supporting veterans throughout South Snohomish County and holding veteran recognition occasions. Earlier this 12 months, town additionally posted indicators on the metropolis’s entrances devoted to native veterans.
“It’s a small factor however means quite a bit to veterans and their households that Lynnwood acknowledges that they’re particular,” Periods stated.
Additionally in attendance was native Gold Star Mom Myra Rintamaki. Rintamaki’s son, U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Steven Rintamaki — a Meadowdale Excessive College graduate — died in Iraq in 2004. Rintamaki – who arranges the month-to-month Heroes’ Cafe conferences – referred to as the ceremony a “fantastic compilation” of all of the work it took to deliver the monument to Lynnwood.
“It’s for a lot of, many individuals in our group to return and never simply pay respects however actually to honor the service of all these (who served),” she stated. “It actually offers that cohesiveness of what that service meant.”
— Story and images by Cody Sexton