Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2011 Tolling of the Boats Ceremony Recap - Part 2

This blog entry has pictures from the pre-ceremony picnic and social time. We tried to get at least one picture of everyone, but we did miss a few people (or the pictures just didn't turn out).

We'll start off with some of the people who helped make the whole event run smoothly and then move on to the other attendees. Remember to just click on a picture to see a larger version of it.

Thanks to all the ladies who helped out with the food and making sure the WWII submarine veterans were escorted to their seats.
Chris Opple, Diane Giese, Tina Godfrey, and Judy Watson
Art Thompson and Doug Abramson worked the grill this year.
Art Thompson and Doug Abramson enjoying the grill
Steve Shelton, World War II veteran Tom Rice, and Jim Harper
Steve and Lynda Shelton
Bill and Diane Giese
Don and Shirley Ross
Doug Dahlke and Bobby Rains, both from Yakima Base
Dave and Lynn Schueler
World War II veteran Robbie and Terry Robertson
District 4 Commander John Mansfield, Carla Becker, and Jim Beasley
Dave Goodson
Karl "Dutch" and Barbara Krompholz
Don Ulmer and Dave Schueler
Wayne and Doris Littlefield (guests of Don Ulmer)
Dick and Fran Gonzales
Pauline and Neal Melton
Doug Gilman
South Sound Base Commander Dave and Donna Richards
Larry and Nan Abbott
Bob and Chris Opple
Schell and Av Harmon
Jeff Taylor
Cliff Nutter
Judy and Seattle Base Commander Keith Watson
Sam Ronnie with sister Phyllis Ronnie and step-brother Gary English
Karl and Linda Peterson
John Bush and Marilyn Nadeau
Don Gentry and Bonnie Osborn
World War II veteran Ralph Sterley and Joan McNamara
Sue Greenfeld (Robbie and Terry's daughter) and Terry Robertson
Doug and Connie Abramson
Ken Murray
Bob Opple, Lois Mezek, and Base Chaplin Andrea Geisler
Lei-Lah and Adm Horton Smith
Dave Schueler and Karl Moellmer
Suz (Jay and Miri's daughter), Jay, and Miri Davis
Doug and son Gary Abramson
Don Gentry with the Silent Service Motorcycle Club Charter and his ride
One more group photo of Seattle Base members and other submarine veterans
After lunch the winner of the Base submarine plaque raffle was announced, congratulations to Tim Floersch!
Thanks again to all those who organized and helped put on the Tolling Ceremony and to those who showed up to share lunch and remember our fallen shipmates.

2011 Tolling of the Boats Ceremony Recap - Part 1

It was a warm sunny day for this year's Tolling of the Boats Ceremony. There was a good turnout for both the picnic and ceremony, with even a few passers-by stopping and listening in.

We have a bunch of pictures from the pre-event picnic and the Tolling Ceremony, so I've split them up into two blog entries. In this entry I've posted pictures from the Tolling Ceremony. You can click on a picture to get a larger view of it.
Seattle Base Float at the Kirkland Marina Pavilion
The Tolling of the Boats is a memorial service to honor our lost submarine brothers who made the supreme sacrifice while performing their duties with valor, integrity, and courage. This ceremony is a fundamental part our creed as members of U.S. Submarine Veterans, "To perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in pursuit of their duties while serving their country."
The Honor Guard from VFW Post 2995 was on hand to 'Present the Colors' and provide some other honors for the ceremony.
VFW Honor Guard preparing for ceremony
VFW Piper
Kelly Ebright and Kirsten Vesley, Bob and Chris Opple's daughters, sang the National Anthem to start the ceremony.
Kelly Ebright and Kirsten Vesley
Our World War II veterans were piped aboard and escorted to their seats.
Adm Horton Smith and Robbie Robertson
Tom Rice and Ralph Sterley
Master of Ceremonies Bob Opple provided some opening remarks and introduced our speaker, Don Ulmer.
Master of Ceremonies - Bob Opple
Don might be the only member of the submarine force to qualify on a submarine as an enlisted man and later return as the commanding officer of the same submarine. Don qualified on USS Clamagore (SS-343) in 1949 and then returned to her in 1967 as Commanding Officer.
Guest speaker - Don Ulmer
Don related some stories about submarine sailors and his own experiences. Don is also an accomplished author of mysteries and books about submarines and finished his speech with the presentation of an "Honorary Submariner" certificate to his editor, Doris Littlefield.
Don Ulmer reading Doris Littlefield's Honorary Submariner Certificate
This year's Tolling readers were Seattle Base Commander Keith Watson and District 4 Commander John Mansfield with Jim Harper ringing the bell. Before reading the lost boats, Keith explained the significance and origins of the ceremony.
Keith Watson and John Mansfield reading the lost boat names
Jim Harper tolling the lost boats
When the Tolling was complete, Terry Robertson placed the Memorial Wreath to honor the lost submariners, then VFW Honor Guard provided the gun-salute and flag presentation.
VFW Flag Presentation and Folding
Before concluding the ceremony, District 4 Commander John Mansfield had one last item of business. He presented the USSVI Base Charter for the Silent Service Motorcycle Club to it's Base Commander, Bob Opple.
John Mansfield presents the charter for the Silent Service Motorcycle Club to Bob Opple
The World War II veterans were escorted out, concluding this year's Tolling Ceremony.
All the submarine veterans and base members gathered by the Seattle Base float for a group photo.
2011 Tolling of the Boats group photo
Bravo Zulu to Bob Opple and all those that helped make the Tolling Ceremony a success.