Dan White at Evergreen Washelli talks about veterans, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Tribute, and ceremonies.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is a special presentation of Answers for Elders featuring Evergreen Washelli. Welcome back to the program everyone. It’s an amazing time that we are already in our third weekend of May and I know that time is flying so much and a lot of us are looking forward to next weekend, which is Memorial Day weekend. And of course we had Answers for Elders. Obviously look at that of the time that we can honor the loved ones that we’ve had in our life and as a result, I have a gentleman here by the name of Dan White from Seattle’s own Evergreen Washelli. Dan White, welcome to the program well, thank you, thank you for having me. You know, Dan, you are the northern Tut territory managers, so you oversee on the Abbey View Memorial Park. That’s the I know you guys have two memorial parks here in the Greater Seattle area. That’s correct. We’ve got our main location down on Aurora Boulevard, and then we have Abbey View Memorial Park, which is located in Briar Washington, kind of circled or entombed by Lynwood and by Ken Moore, like Forest Park and Melt Lake Terrace. Well, you know, you guys have always been, you know, definitely one of the standard bears of memorial parks that we’ve had here in the community because you really, you know, your locally base here. You’ve been here for a long time and we could go into that. But what I really am excited to have you share, Dan, today, is tell us a little bit what we know that we’re all getting ready to prepare for Memorial Day. And yes, there’s barbecues, yes, there’s all kinds of people going on vacation, but I think a great many of us want to honor our loved ones and we go out to Evergreen Washelli and and actually do that, where we may put flowers on the graves or take part and the different activities that are going on in that day. So, Dan, thank you for coming and let’s talk about Memorial Day and first of all, you know, just give us an overview of how does that change your world? I mean, I’m sure it’s a different day than any other world, you know, and in time of the year, yes, it is. It’s usually one of our busiest days and of course, it’s one that we love to celebrate for our veterans, and Memorial Day is that day when we actually have a memorial, a veteran cemetery there on our main branch down on Aurora. We have 5,000 that are interred there. Wow, and we kind of got the name of being the Arlington of the West. You know, one time, I remember just the other day, there was a news report. I don’t remember which station, but they showed the military going and honoring every headstone by putting a rose at the top of every headstone and I tell you, it touched my heart. I started to cry when you think about you know, so many people have sacrifice for this country, yes, and really that we can take a day out and honor that sacrifice. It’s such an important I think ritual for us all to remember. Yes, and so we do that and then also a memorial day, we will actually have a boy scouts that will come out and place flags with each of these veterans so that we’ll do that song out at Briar or other location. We actually have about eight hundred veterans that are actually interred out there, but we’re not really have a separate symmetry portion from the hey and we’ll have the girl scouts will be out there placing some flags and then we usually have some people from the community that will come and do that and it’s quite an awesome sight when the whole cemetery is covered in all those flags, to see them absolutely. So that’s what we have. But I thought what I’d share with you as a little bit of history. Whenever sometimes people get a chance to see the the burial veterans on TV, otherwise they probably have some questions as to what’s actually going on. Sure. So we don’t really do the twenty one gun salute too much at our private cemeteries. It is done down at the national cemetery down in in Kent. So that one is is done. But the original origin of the twenty one gun salute was actually started back in the Anglo Saxon Empire and it was seven guns were recognized as an able salute, seven being the standard number of weapons on that on that vessel. But because more gunpowder could be stored on dry land, forts could fire three rounds of some okay, twenty one. So that’s really how we started with a twenty one gun salute and so that is generally what you see happen for when they are burying one of our veterans, and so does every just I don’t know that much about the military, but is every if you’re a veteran and you’re buried, do you does that qualify view for twenty one grunt done salute? Where is there different degrees? Either yes or there’s the the different degrees. As far as just locale, nowadays, what happens for us in one of our cemeteries is that we will have as being a member of the VA, they will send out volunteers and the volunteers will come out and they will present a flag for the family as well as play taps. Wow, so that is done. We just don’t really do the the twenty one gun salute in the private cemeteries. So if the family comes to you and says we have a veteran that we just had passed and we’d like to honor them, then you guys kind of work collaboratively with the military to make that happen for the families. That correct. Yes, we do. The funeral director would be in charge of doing that and and ordering the honor the honor guards to be able to come out at the cemetery. We will be responsible for placing up the American flag and then the particular branch of service flag as well. And so they will come out and they will do that and if you’ve ever had the opportunity that, it’s quite an amazing thing. Yes, it is. So talking about the flag, the flag is very important. As far as the folds of the flag, we are talking to Dan White from Evergreen Washelli. Dan is the Northern Territory manager for Evergreen Washelli, and he oversees basically the Abbey view property in Briar. I’m excited to hear now about the flag. Tell me about the flag. So the way that the flag works. The first fold of the flag as a symbol of life. The second fold is a symbol of eternal life. The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for defense of our country. Uh huh. The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens, trusting it is to him we turn, in times of peace as well as in times of war, for his divine guidance. The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for, in the words of Stephen Decatur, our country and dealing with other countries. May She always be right, but is still our country, right or wrong. The sixth fold is where our hearts lie, because it’s with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. The seventh fold is a tribute to our armed forces. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley the shadow of death that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day. The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded. The ten fold is a tribute to the father, for he too has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born. The eleven fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in their eyes the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Wow, the twelve fold in the eyes of the Christian citizen represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies in their eyes God, the father, the son and the Holy Spirit. And the thirteen fold, when the flag is completely folded, the stars are out uppermost, reminding of the nation’s motto, in God we trust. After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever, reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoyed today. Wow, so pretty. I didn’t even know there was thirteen folds in the flag. Yes, so I know that they stand across from each other and when they fold the flag, I mean, I’m trying to remember in my mind the folded long ways. Yes, or times correct? Yes, it would be half and then half and a half again, and then it’s in like a in trying angles. That’s make that so there are actually thirteen different folds in that process. I had no idea. Yeah, what a great thing to learn. So there you go. So that that helps you understand that. So, so, in looking at this overview or in looking at the process of honoring, I know that you talk a little bit about the flag and about the twenty one gun salute, the military actually comes in and does this for the family. Is that correct when on the final wishes? Yes, that is correct, and there’s no charge to the family for that. They are a lot of times volunteers, sir, and then they will also come after they present the flag or prior to they’ll also play taps. Wow as well. Wow. And so with that the history of taps for you, just so that you understand. Yeah, it really back in the civil war times. It really stood for lights out, for time to go to bed and get ready. But the the person responsible for designing the tune, it got changed and they worked on it a few different times and then finally it was soon adopted by the military in one thousand eight hundred and seventy four in which when it actually was and then it became officially recognized by the US army at that time and it became a standard for the military funeral ceremonies in one thousand eight hundred and ninety one. So wow meant to celebrate their final rest and lights out, wow and and you see now how, how and so it’s done. Taps is usually done at every single veterans honor of a funeral. Is that correct? Correct, wow wow. So, Dan, how do we reach you? You can reach in me at Abbey View Memorial Park. Phone number is four to five for a three hundred five, five five, or you can go to our Facebook page that we have for great heavy you, Memorial and I’m so glad you’re going to stick with us for the next segment because I want to talk about Memorial Day. This is next weekend and Dan’s going to share with this all the things that Evergreen Washelli is going to be doing for the community in there two areas and their two memorial parks and we look forward to having you back shortly. This has been a special presentation of answers for elders featuring Evergreen Washelli. For more information about Evergreen Washelli their website is washelli.com. That’s washelli.com.
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.