City’s veterans will honor fallen comrades Monday

Renton’s veterans will remember those who died in the service of their country this Monday, Memorial Day.

Renton’s veterans will remember those who died in the service of their country this Monday, Memorial Day.

The morning services culminate with a gathering of veterans at Greenwood Memorial Park at 11 a.m. on Northeast Fourth Street.

“Memorial Day is for those who have passed away,” said Ted Taylor of Renton, past commander of the American Legion Fred Hancock Post No. 19 and chairman of the post’s Memorial Day observances.

Veterans Day in November “is for those living veterans, to pay respect to the living veterans,” he said.

All events are open to the public.

The Memorial Day observances start at 9 a.m. at Liberty Park with the placing of two wreaths in the Cedar River from the Bronson Way bridge to honor service men and women killed at sea.

This is a joint service of American Legion Fred Hancock Post 19 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Frank R. Vaise Post 1263.

Then after that service the veterans will move to Mount Olivet Cemetery just off Northeast Third Street, where the two veterans after whom their posts are named are buried.

Fred Hancock, according to Taylor, was the first Renton man who was killed in the line of duty in World War I. A fireman, his troop-transport ship was hit by a German torpedo on its way back to the United States after deploying troops to France, Taylor said.

Hancock was among several killed in the engine room, which was sealed off, then unsealed back in France when the ship was repaired. Hancock’s body was then returned to the United States.

The American Legion has built a small memorial next to Hancock’s grave, where members will gather for a service. Members of the Frank R. Vaise Post gather at Vaise’s grave for a memorial service.

These services honor not only America’s war dead, but they also help educate veterans about the heritage of their organizations, according to Taylor.

Most veterans don’t know Fred Hancock or the fact he gave his name to the post, Taylor said.

“That’s why we like to honor the namesakes for our posts once a year,” he said.

Finally, the veterans will gather at the veterans’ section of Greenwood Memorial Park and Funeral Home for the largest of the observances in Renton.

Greenwood is at 350 Monroe Ave. N.E.

Guest speaker for the service is Dick Whipple, past state commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The service will include music by the award-winning Keith Highland Bagpipe band and a bell choir, according to Laura Woolman, community outreach coordinator for Greenwood.

A member of each service will present a memorial wreath.

After the Greenwood service, the American Legion will hold a potluck lunch at about noon for all veterans at the Fred Hancock Post, 3224 N.E. 12th St. And the Veterans of Foreign Wars will hold an open house for all veterans at its post at 416 Burnett Ave. S., in downtown Renton.

Dean A. Radford can be reached at 425-255-3484, ext. 5050, or at