Rain and wind were threatening right up to the start of the American Legion’s Veterans Day celebration held on Nov. 11 at 11:00 am in Manson, Washington. Luckily, the weather gods came through and provided, not perfect but decent weather for the annual celebration.
The Lake Chelan Patriotic Singers, led by Steve Davis sang a couple songs prior to Commander Clyde McCullough ordering Craig Pittson and Carole Hanson, “present colors”. It was a beautiful sight as the backdrop was a huge American flag hoisted high above Wapato Way by “Tower 51”, Manson Fire Department’s aerial platform truck. We thank Chief Arnold Baker and his team of firefighters.
American Legion Vice Commander, Brian Strausbaugh took charge of the ceremony and asked Chaplain John Swenson to provide an opening prayer, then the Patriotic Singers led the crowd in God Bless America followed by several readings from Legion members.
Commander McCullough proudly introduced our guest speaker, Kelly Allen. Kelly is owner of Kelly Allen Agency, LLC in Chelan and a Chelan County PUD commissioner representing at-large District B. Kelly spoke from the heart and her love for our veterans and their service to our country. Growing up as a military brat she learned discipline, boundaries and hard work. She was grateful for the Veteran’s who gave up their optionality and comforts so she and others could remain innocent and naïve to the true cost of freedom, recognizing our military as God’s Angels
Kelly proudly recognized her dad, Charles (Chuck) Murrell, First Sergeant, US Army (ret) in attendance at the ceremony, decked out in his military gear. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam, 1966-68 and 1969-70. He went to Vietnam with the 196 th Light Infantry Brigade out of Fort Devens, Massachusetts. Retired June 30, 1985.
An all military, arm forces medley was played through the PA system featuring the Swing Dolls, America's premier tribute to The Andrews Sisters. Commander McCullough asked those in attendance to stand or raise their hand when their branch of the service was played. This was a real crowd pleaser and we received many positive comments.
The Lake Chelan Patriotic Singers led the crowd in two verses of the Star Spangled Banner before Commander McCullough asked the Color Guard to “Retire Colors”. Coffee and cookies were provided by the American Legion.
We send a special thank you to eight students from Manson High School that helped setup and
secure the event and students, and Charlize Lael and Shawn Strouble for taking photos.
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