The U.S. Submarine Veterans Inc. held a Tolling the Boats ceremony Aug. 16 at Marina Park in downtown Kirkland to honor submarine veterans and remember World War II crews.
“Each year we see their numbers getting smaller and we definitely want to show our support for those who are there,” said Diane Giese, group supporter.
The ceremony included all 65 submarines lost in U.S. services since 1900 when the U.S. Submarine force was formed. This group of submarine veterans, including the Silent Service Motorcycle Club (SSMC), also participate every year in the Fourth of July parade in Kirkland.
“Because submariners serve in the silence service, the public has little knowledge of what we do or where we do it,” said John Roberts, group member, “We believe it enriches a community to know the contributions made by our predecessors in WWII and by our men who are still in constant danger under the oceans of the world.”
The organization is involved in various projects and deeds for the purpose of remembering shipmates. The organization also seeks “to educate all third parties it comes in contact with about the services veterans performed and how their sacrifices made possible the freedom and lifestyle we enjoy today.”
“The event went very well,” Roberts said. “We had about 65 of our members in attendance. In addition, about 20 members of the community stopped by to observe the ceremony. This an increase over previous years and we hope that this number continues to grow.”
Mayor Amy Walen attended and was presented with a commemorative medallion representing the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. in appreciation of the support and welcome attitude the city of Kirkland extends to submarine veterans.