Veterans Day Ceremony
November 11, 2010
Museum of Flight
Tukwila, Washington

It is my pleasure to welcome all veterans, family members, and friends to our special Veterans Day program on this 11th day of November, 2010.

I have been privileged to address this gathering for several years and I look forward to this opportunity to once again visit with and acknowledge our veterans for the service and dedication they have given to this great country.

In past years I have recapped the history of Veterans Day and how it evolved from the original Armistice Day and how the dates of celebration have changed back and forth until president Gerald Ford officially proclaimed on September 20, 1975 that the 11th day of November each year would be the official celebration of ‘Veterans Day’.

Today, I want to take a few minutes to bring my comments a little closer to home. There are many veterans organizations built on the close friendship of surviving veterans.

I am a member of the Tukwila American Legion Post 235 and I would like to recognize that group for all the good work they do for the Veteran’s hospital in Seattle. The distribution of poppies is our major fund raiser and that, along with other fund raising efforts every year, provide considerable funds for the many veterans requiring the services of this regional hospital.

Every Christmas morning members of our American Legion Post join with other veterans organizations to distribute gifts, clothing, phone cards, and other items to the veterans who are hospitalized over the holiday. We visit each floor of the hospital, talk with the patients, and our group even attempts to sing a Christmas carol before we leave the room. Some of the patients have family or friends close by who come to visit them on Christmas, but many of the patients are from farther away and have no one to visit them. They are always so appreciative of our efforts on Christmas morning, and it is such a rewarding experience for us.

I am very fortunate to be able to serve as the Mayor of Tukwila. Because of our location at the crossroads of major freeways, proximity to SeaTac airport and with a proliferation of hotel rooms and restaurants, Tukwila plays host to numerous conferences, conventions, and reunions. This year we had the privilege of hosting the reunion of the 351st bomb squadron at the Embassy Suites hotel. I was invited to welcome that group on a Friday evening which I gratefully accepted. I expected a small group of veterans, but to my surprise there were approximately 200 veterans, family members, friends and even a few people from France who were associated with this group during World War II. What a wonderful experience that reunion was! As part of the ceremony, they presented me with a signed copy of their history book “The 351st Bomb Group In WW II”. On page 119 of their book the chapter begins “All gave some, some gave all”.

That really captures the reason we celebrate Veterans Day, “All gave some, some gave all”.

Thank you so much for being here today to honor our veterans.

Let us never forget what each of them sacrificed for this country.