Photo courtesy of Gregory Lucas
                                A scout places red poppies, one by one, in the cemetery during a prior event. This year’s ceremony will happen on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at Sunset Hills Memorial Park in Bellevue.

Photo courtesy of Gregory Lucas A scout places red poppies, one by one, in the cemetery during a prior event. This year’s ceremony will happen on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at Sunset Hills Memorial Park in Bellevue.

Eastside Veterans Day Ceremony expected to draw crowd

The annual tradition will honor Eastside resident Joe Crecca this year.

A large group of organizers have worked nearly all year to put together the Eastside Veterans Day Ceremony — to celebrate veterans who served in all branches of the military.

The public is invited to pay tribute to veterans at the Sunset Hills Memorial Park on Monday, Nov. 11. The celebration starts at 11 a.m. and is anticipated to last an hour.

Multiple organizations will host the event, including the Sons of the American Revolution, The Association of Washington Generals, American Legion Post #161 and VFW Post #2995.

The event also aims to rectify the poor treatment Vietnam veterans faced when they returned home. It could be hard for someone to imagine a time when active military came home to anything but celebration and gratitude. Gregory Lucas can.

Lucas, who assembled the Committee to Honor American Veterans in 2016, said that those flying home during the Vietnam War, a highly controversial conflict that spanned the years of 1955 to 1975, were treated unfairly.

“As vets came home … vets were not only not honored but aggressively shunned,” he said.

He pointed out that the Vietnam Wall is the only memorial in Washington D.C. hidden below ground. He said vets viewed the location as a slight against them and those who served.

“Consider the fact that freedom is purchased and the price is all of our price to pay,” he said. “The ones who pay that price are the military … There is nothing that we can do that would be too great an honor to give them. They deserve our best, and the Vietnam veterans did not receive it.”

Those behind this year’s ceremony are hoping to make things right.

Vietnam-era veterans and the widows and mothers of deceased Vietnam veterans will receive commemorative lapel pins, provided by the Department of Defense in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

They’ll be provided with the pins, along with the words “welcome home.”

“For many of these vets, it’ll be the first time anyone has ever welcomed them home,” Lucas said.

Other highlights include Eastside resident and Air Force Maj. Joe Crecca, who was a prisoner of war for more than six years in the Hanoi Hilton prisoner of war camp. He will receive the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) Bronze Good Citizenship Medal.

Guests should anticipate a moving ceremony, Lucas said. Scouts will place more than 2,900 American flags and 1,000 red poppies on the graves of veterans buried in the cemetery. And there will be a number of special guests.

In addition, the ceremony also will call attention to the sacrifices of veterans who landed at Normandy on D-Day in WWII, as this year marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

Photo courtesy of Gregory Lucas
                                Joe Crecca, who was a prisoner of war, will receive the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) Bronze Good Citizenship Medal.

Photo courtesy of Gregory Lucas Joe Crecca, who was a prisoner of war, will receive the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) Bronze Good Citizenship Medal.

More in News

Police exercise educates drivers and pedestrians on safety

Bellevue police increase emphasis on collision causes.

Despite concerns, homelessness authority moves toward final Seattle vote

Seattle’s homelessness committee aligned the city’s plan with King County’s.

King County’s current climate action plan was adopted in 2015 and has provided a blueprint for reducing emissions and preparing for climate change. File photo
King County approves environmental justice provision

An update to the King County climate action plan should include an… Continue reading

Homelessness authority approved by King County, awaits Seattle vote

The agreement would consolidate emergency services for people experiencing homelessness.

The King County Courthouse is located at 516 Third Ave. in downtown Seattle. Photo courtesy of King County
Council approves $600,000 to increase security at King County Courthouse

The funding will be split evenly between increasing deputies, security and social services.

Victims, law enforcement speak about King County Courthouse conditions

An entrance to the courthouse was closed after an assault.

Washington Low Income Housing Alliance is among supporters of statewide “just cause” legislation to protect tenants in Washington. However, some landlords say removing the ability to quickly remove tenants limits their ability to get rid of problem renters. (Courtesy image)
Tenant advocates prepare for another push in Olympia

Following wins in Burien and Federal Way, just cause evictions are on the 2020 Legislative agenda.

Bellevue skyline. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Bellevue changing logo for the first time since 1969

New logo to reflect diversity, development.

Most Read