On the eleventh hour ...
November 12, 2012
One of the
most poignant moments of the Veterans
Day ceremony was the unveiling of Army
Specialist Ethan Martin's name on the
Memorial to Fallen Heroes while his
parents, Pam and Harv Martin and Kristi
and Bob Suprenant, looked
tearfully on. Ethan laid his life on the
altar of freedom August 7, 2012, while
serving in Afghanistan.
courtesy of Mick Mellett
By Mike Ashby
American Legion Post 55
A windy, cool morning could not damper the
spirits of the many Boundary County citizens who
came together Sunday, November 11, at Veterans
Memorial Park in Bonners Ferry to honor local
veterans and commemorate Veterans Day.
American Legion Boundary Post 55 has hosted this
annual event since the dedication of Veterans
Memorial Park several years ago.
Following World War One, every Veterans Day
celebration was preceded by the ringing of a
bell. That tradition was marked at this year’s
local event with eleven peals of a bell to
signify the start of the program.
of Ceremonies U.S. Marine Lt. Colonel (Retired)
Tim Wilson then welcomed the audience to the
ceremonies and ordered the posting of our
nation’s flag. The Colors were smartly posted by
the U.S. Border Patrol and Chaplain Mike Ashby
of American Legion Boundary Post 55 offered the
opening invocation. A stirring rendition of “The
Star Spangled Banner” was sung by Bruce Martins,
and Acting Legion Commander Ray Harris led the
crowd in reciting “The Pledge of Allegiance.”
Margaret Mellet and Angie Lucas created two
beautifully handmade quilts which they presented
to two local veterans. Each year Boundary Post
55 nominates two individuals for this honor,
with this year’s recipients being Leroy Vogl and
Keith Coble. Both gentlemen served in World War
Two, Coble serving in the U.S. Army in Germany
during the Battle of the Bulge, and Vogl serving
with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theater
onboard the USS Honolulu, CL 48.
men put their quilts to immediate use, chasing
off the chill of the rather cool morning while
they watched the remainder of the service.
This year’s keynote speaker was Retired Navy
Master Chief Petty officer Ken Toline. Chief
Toline served as a navy medic with a Marine
rifle company in Viet Nam, receiving our
nation’s Silver Star and Purple Heart with two
Oak Clusters for three wounds suffered while in
"We the People," he began. "'We the people of
the United States of America, in order to form a
more perfect union, establish justice, insure
domestic tranquility, provide for the common
defense, promote the general welfare, and secure
the blessings of liberty, to ourselves and our
posterity, do ordain and establish this
Constitution for the United States of America.'
For those of you who know, and for those who do
not know, the words I just recited are the words
to the preamble of one the greatest documents we
the free American people have." To read his full
the conclusion of Master Chief Toline’s stirring
speech, Mr. Wilson called upon the parents of
the late Ethan Martin, a Boundary County son
killed in Afghanistan earlier this year.
A military escort was provided to his parents as
they were led to the Monument of Boundary
County’s military killed in action. The
engraving of Corporal Martins name on the stone
was unveiled for the first time and all military
personnel in attendance rendered a hand salute
in memory of Corporal Martin.
Chaplain Ashby’s benediction, the playing of
Taps and the retiring of the Colors concluded
American Legion Boundary Post 55 sincerely
thanks all who braved the cold day to honor our
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