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Kudos to Veterans Day celebration | Federal Way letters
I would like to congratulate the Historical Society of Federal Way and the Federal Way Kiwanis Club for hosting an amazing Veterans Day celebration Nov. 13. There have been few times in my life that I have felt a greater pride in being an American than I felt after attending this event. It was so lovely to see so many people come together to honor those who have sacrificed so much, and in some cases everything, to serve our country.
I was greeted at the door by Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts handing out programs. They also presented a banner that had been signed by people in Federal Way to soldiers, thanking them for their service to our country.
The ROTC from Federal Way High School and Todd Beamer High School were extraordinary in their roles for this event. They presented themselves with honor and grace — and showed that they are the pride of our community. They were a beautiful sight in their uniforms. They handled themselves with a professionalism that is rare.
It was a special treat to have Major General Nam Pyo Park from Korea speak about the help the American soldiers gave to his people and to his country in their hour of need. It is good to know that the men and women who served there will never be forgotten by the Korean people.
Even the POWs and those who are MIA were honored during the event. There was a poignant representation of all military branches that have left comrades behind — soldiers that have never returned to their loved ones. There was a table set for them with the glasses turned over to represent the fact that they are still lost, but never forgotten.
Even the children of Federal Way schools honored the veterans by writing more than 1,200 thank you letters to soldiers who are currently serving. The letters were graciously given by Superintendent Rob Neu to the 3rd Stryker Brigade and the 81st Infantry Brigade.
I think that the highlight of the event was listening to Lt. Col. Joe Jackson. He received the Medal of Honor during Vietnam. His story of extraordinary bravery was amazing. To hear about how he flew his plane into a camp that was overrun by enemy combatants, when the weather was deteriorating rapidly, set me on the edge of my seat. I was amazed to hear that the plane he was flying did not receive even one bullet hole. It is a story that will stay with me for as long as I live.
After talking to several members of the historical society, it became clear that Diana Noble-Gulliford was the visionary and a main organizer for this fabulous event. It is because of people like Diana that good things happen in communities. I would like to thank everyone who helped put together this event. It affected me so deeply, and I'm sure that everyone who attended feels the same way. I would also like to thank all the women and men who are serving and who have served in our military. Your service brings honor to us all.
Danylle Chalcraft, Federal Way