Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Black Diamond Labor Day Parade Invitation

Former Base Commander Keith Watson would like to invite all Submarine Veterans to attend the Black Diamond Labor Day parade and festivities on Monday, September 3.
The Seattle Base Float at a previous Labor Day Parade
Keith Says:
We will have coffee and treats at the Black Diamond Museum, located at 32627 Railroad Avenue 98010 (just west of the Fire Station at the foot of Baker Street) prior to the parade. The parade starts at 10 AM and finishes up at the school ballpark where the entrees can park and display their floats, etc. It is about a 4-5 block walk from the start of the parade to the school ballpark. Everything is within walking distance and the event is very well attended. Highway 169 will be closed during the parade, so I suggest that you arrive early as parking will be at a premium.

Here are some of the planned events for Monday:
  • Pancake Breakfast 7AM - 10:30 at the Masonic Hall (across from the fire station) 
  • Booth Set-up 8-10 AM at school ballpark 
  • Parade Line-up 8 AM Car Show (about 100 old-time autos) at the Black Diamond Eagles (across the street from Museum) 
  • Booths & Inflatables 10-3 at school ballpark 
  • Parade 10 AM 
  • Awards & Announcements 11:15 at school ballpark 
  • Black Diamond Eagles BBQ for the public (across the street from Museum) 
  • Entertainment 12-4 (at school ballpark) 
  • Museum Tours 12-4 
  • Sporting Events 12-4 (running races, 3-legged races, Wheelbarrow Races, Shoe Kicking, Egg Toss, Dunk Tank, etc.) 
  • Labor Day Button Raffle Drawing 3 PM 
This is an old fashion fun day for the whole family. There will be many booths with goodies to purchase and live music. Feel free to bring the whole family - they could march with us in the parade! The weather is said to be around 75 degrees and clear.

It would be nice to know how many of you can be there - please let us know. Leave a message by email or phone (360-886-0778).

Keith Watson

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2012 Tolling the Boats Ceremony, 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).

Remember to just click on a picture to see a larger version of it.
Your lunch chefs - John Bush and Art Thompson
WWII Sub Vets Robbie Robertson, Ralph Sterley, and Fred Enssilin
Tolling organizer Bob and Chris Opple
Barb and Karl 'Dutch' Krompholz
Av and Schell Harmon
Bill and Diane Giese
Bill and Diane Giese with guests John and Judy Douthitt
Fran and Dick Gonzales
Fran and Dick with guests Sherri and Al
Dave and Lynn Schueler
John Bush and Marilyn Nadeau
Judy and Keith Watson
Larry and Nan Abbott
Special Guests Kathy and Maureen
Ric Hedman and Patti Lynn
Sam Ronnie and Lois Mezek
New base member Leman Booher, Doug Gilman, and Bob Haslan
Pat Householder and Dave Goodson
Steve and Lynda Shelton
Cliff Nutter, Robbie Robertson, Andrea Giesler, and Fred Ensslin
Arlene 'Ritzy' Ritzhaupt
Jim Harper and Don Ulmer showing off the refurbished float torpedo
Curt Maier and Steve Shelton
Guest singer Kami Treider
Loma Taylor and Chris Opple
Marilyn and Nan let us know that they thought it was a little chilly for the ceremony
Terri and Robbie Robertson
Schell Harmon and Ralph Sterley
Kirkland Marina Park Pavilion

Thanks again to all those who organized and helped put on the Tolling the Boats Ceremony and to those who showed up to share lunch and remember our fallen shipmates. If you have photos from the Tolling that you would like to share, you can email them to me and I’ll post them to the blog.

2012 Tolling the Boats Ceremony, Part 1

Seattle USSVI Base held our annual Tolling the Boats Ceremony on August 18. We were expecting a warm (maybe even hot) sunny day for this year's ceremony, but it was a cloudy, cool (some would say a little too cool) day. There was a good turnout for the ceremony and pre-ceremony picnic. We also had a number of people at the park stop by the float to ask questions and a few stayed for part of the ceremony.

We have a bunch of pictures from the picnic and the Tolling Ceremony, so I've split them up into two blog entries. In this entry, I'm including pictures from the Tolling Ceremony. You can click on a picture to get a larger view of it.
Seattle Base float with lots of submarine photos and information.
The Tolling 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 posting the colors
Our World War II veterans were piped aboard and escorted to their seats.
World War II SubVets Ralph Sterley, Fred Ensslin, and Robbie Robertson
Seattle Base Chaplin Andrea Geisler provided the invocation for the ceremony.
Base Chaplin, Andrea Geisler delivers the Invocation
After the invocation, Master of Ceremonies Bob Opple provided some opening remarks, talking about the challenges faced by submariners during World War II, and then he showed our appreciation to Maureen and Kathy, the ladies that organize the veteran portion of the Kirkland Independence Day parade, by presenting them with corsages.
MoC Bob Opple delivering his opening remarks
Corsages being presented to Kathy and Maureen
Ric Hedman then read a poem by Fletcher Pratt about the subs built at Mare Island, while Steve Shelton rang the bell for the submarine names in the poem.
Steve Shelton rings the bell while Ric Hedman reads the Fletcher Pratt poem
I've included the poem below and you can find it on Ric's website:

“There is a poetry in ships' names. It can still be heard in the quiet watches of the night..., when mist obscures the waterfront and foghorns call mournfully through the darkness. Out across the bay, blinking lights mark the channel down which Navy ships have sailed for a hundred years, and bells sound a knell for those that never came back. There is no quiet Arlington for ships; their bones rust in unknown lands beneath the sea. The names that entered history in minutes filled with fire and thunder are soon forgotten, except in long hours of the night when the bells call the roll of missing ships —Seawolf

There are honored names, and the ships that wore them carried them well. Some were old and some were new, but sweat and skill and steel of Mare Island was a part of each of them to the end —Pickerel ...

There are historic names, old in the naval list. Though the logs in the archives fade, their memories will live so long as the bells still toll —These are fighting names, and these were fighting ships —Wahoo, Swordfish, Tang, Trigger, Tullibee, Gudgeon, Pompano

Such were the ships that Mare Island built, and such were the ships that made history."

We were then provided with a superb rendition of ‘Proud to be an American’ by Kami Trieder.
Kami Trieder
This year's Tolling readers were Bill Giese and Larry Abbott with Jim Harper ringing the bell. Before reading the lost boats, Keith Watson explained the significance and origins of the ceremony.
Keith Watson explains the significance of the Tolling the Boats
Jim Harper tolls the bell while Bill Giese reads the lost boat names
Larry Abbott reads the lost boat names
When the reading of the lost boats was complete, Loma Taylor placed the memorial wreath to honor the lost submariners, then VFW Honor Guard provided the gun-salute and Taps presentation.
Loma Taylor places the memorial wreath
VFW Honor Guard firing a salute
Playing 'Taps'
The VFW Honor Guard then saluted the World War II veterans, concluding this year's Tolling Ceremony.
VFW Honor Guard salutes the World War II submarine veterans
Bravo Zulu to Bob Opple and all those who helped make the Tolling Ceremony a success.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

August Meeting and Tolling of the Boats Reminder

We will be having the next Seattle Base meeting this coming Wednesday, August 15, at VFW Post #2995 (4330 148th Ave N.E., Redmond WA 98052). Social hour starts at 6 PM with business meeting at 7 PM.

We'll get our normal Officer reports and an update on the final preparations for the Tolling of the Boats ceremony. The most recent information for the ceremony is included below and on our Facebook page.

Hopefully, you've all voted in the USSVI National Elections. But if not, you can contact us for information on how to vote.

We hope to see you all at the meeting on Wednesday.
The Seattle Base float at the 2011 Tolling Ceremony
2012 Tolling of the Boats Ceremony 
The Tolling ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, August 18, 2012 at the pavilion at the Kirkland Marina Park (25 Lakeshore Plaza Drive). We will again be having a picnic starting around 11:30 AM and the ceremony beginning around 1:00 PM.

This is our opportunity to honor our World War II brothers, each year we see the numbers getting smaller at our ceremony so we definitely want to be there to show our love and support for those who are there.
The VFW Post 2995 Honor Guard will be there to help us throughout the service. Please make every effort to attend this year's ceremony as we all need to do everything we can to let our World War II brothers know that we love and support them.

Handicapped parking is available near the Pavilion, contact Bob Opple by phone or at the meeting for information getting a parking pass.

If you are coming on I-405, take exit 18 west toward the Kirkland and the waterfront. The Pavilion is located at the end of Central Street on the water.

We will see you on Saturday and be sure and bring your family and friends.