Tuesday, August 19, 2014

2014 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.

We hope you enjoy the photos and remember to just click on a picture to see a larger version of it.
Paul Christofersson, Fred Esslin, and Andrea Geisler with Roscoe the submarine schnauzer
cooks for the day Doug Abramson and Steve Shelton
Lois Twelves and Ralph Sterley (WWII submarine veteran)
Jim Harper and Marilyn
John, Fran, and Dick Gonzales
Angus McDonald
Arlene Ritzhaupt and daughter Anna
Teri Robertson and daughter Sue Greenfeld
Bill and Diane Giese
Sandra, John, and Katherine Roberts
Sandy and Ed C. (Shortly Shelton's daughter)
Bob and Dani Haslan
VFW Post 2995 Honor Guard
Ric Hedman and Patti Lynn
Bill Lightfoot (WWII Merchant Marine veteran)
Rich Glaza and Cliff Nutter
David and Grace Cunningham (son and widow of WWII submarine veteran Claude Cunningham)
Dolores and Morgan Stewart (widow and daughter of WWII submarine veteran Chuck Stewart)
Steve and Lynda Shelton
Bob Haslan and Pierre Bruneau
Karl 'Dutch Krompholz (center) with Dave (L) and Hunter Lillie
Don and Shirley Ross
Lynn and Dave Schueler
Kathleen and Eileen Warren (daughter and widow of WWII submarine veteran Jack Warren)
Paul and Aecha Christofferson (WWII submarine veteran)
Josie and Fred Esslin (WWII submarine veteran)
Doug Gilman and Mark Sheehan
Kimberly Brooke and Sylvia Brooke-Ferris (daughter and widow of WWII submarine veteran)
Lei-Lah and Horton Smith
John Baker (WWII submarine veteran) and Charlotte Roth
Pat Householder and Al Smith
Judy and Keith Watson
Marilyn Nadeau and John Bush
Kami McGrath
Kathleen Warren and Tim Floersch
Marc Vellat and Dave Schueler
Kirkland Mayor Amy Whalen and husband Jim
WWII submarine wives and widows

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.

2014 Tolling the Boats Ceremony - Part 1

Seattle USSVI Base held our annual Tolling the Boats Ceremony on Saturday, August 16, 2014 at the Kirkland Marina Park pavilion. It was a beautiful warm and sunny day. We had a good turnout for the ceremony and pre-ceremony picnic.

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.

The Seattle Base float drew the attention of people in the park, as usual, and a number of them stopped by the pavilion to ask questions.
A view of the Seattle Base float from inside the pavilion
The Tolling the Boats Ceremony 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."
A last minute conference before the ceremony starts
John Roberts acted as the Master of Ceremonies for the Tolling. 
John Roberts starting the ceremony
In addition to honoring the lost submariners and our World War II veterans, this year we wanted to remember the ladies: the wives and widows of World War II submariners.
WWII submarine veteran wives and widows being saluted by the Honor Guard as they are escorted to their seats
World War II submarine veterans (L to R) Ralph Sterley, John Baker, Paul Christofferson, and Fred Esslin
Admiral Horton and Lei-Lah Smith with our other World War II veterans
The Honor Guard from VFW Post 2995 was on hand to 'Present the Colors' and provide other honors for the ceremony.
VFW Honor Guard presenting the colors
Music for the ceremony was provided by Kami McGrath. Kami helped start the ceremony by singing the National Anthem and provided music throughout the ceremony.
Kami singing God Bless America
Seattle Base Chaplin Andrea Geisler provided the invocation and benediction for the ceremony.
Seattle Base Chaplin Andrea Geisler giving the invocation
After the invocation, Dick Gonzales, Seattle USSVI Base Commander, welcomed everyone and provided some opening remarks.
Dick Gonzales opening remarks
John Baker, World War II submarine veteran and Lockwood Chapter President, gave us a short history of the Lockwood Chapter of Submarine Veterans of World War II and talked about the closing of the chapter. John also brought the Lockwood Chapter’s bell for use in the Tolling Ceremony.
John Baker talking about the Charles Lockwood Chapter of Submarine Veterans of WWII
The Lockwood Chapter Tolling plaque and bell

Past USSVI National Commander Pat Householder gave a tribute to recently departed shipmates Ervin Schmidt and Robbie Robertson.

Pat Householder remembering Ervin and Robbie
Past Seattle Base Commander Keith Watson explained the significance and origins of the Tolling Ceremony, which led to the reading of the lost boats.
Keith Watson giving details about the ceremony
Bill Giese and Dave Schueler read the lost boats
Jim Harper tolls the bell for the lost boats
When the reading of the lost boats was complete, Teri Robertson, widow of Robbie Robertson, placed the memorial wreath to honor the lost submariners, then VFW Honor Guard provided the gun-salute and while Hunter Lillie played Taps.
Lois Mezek assists Teri Robertson in placing the memorial wreath
Hunter Lillie playing taps
Before concluding the ceremony, Seattle Base presented a memorial medallion and set of miniature dolphins to Kami McGrath, in appreciation for her work providing music for the ceremony over the past few years, and to Kirkland Mayor Amy Whalen, thanking her for all the work the city has done with the Seattle Base.
Dick Gonzales present Kami McGrath with the medallion and dolphins
Mayor Amy Whalen receives the medallion from John Roberts
After the ceremony we gathered the members of the Lockwood Chapter of US Submarine Veterans of World War II for a group photo.
Lockwood Chapter members
Thanks to John Roberts all those who helped make this year’s Tolling Ceremony a success.