November 12, 2008
Special Ceremony & Speech at Covenant Shores
One of our clients, John Kneepkens, recommended me to be a guest speaker at the Covenant Shores Retirement Community in Mercer Island, WA.

John said there were a lot of World War II and Korean War and Vietnam War veterans at Covenant Shores.  The Chaplain gave me a call and asked if I would speak at their annual Veterans Day Ceremony.  I of course agreed.

Today I drove over to the Covenant Shores and was met by John Kneepkens.  He is a remarkable man.  A veteran from World War II, he has so much enthusiasm for helping others.  He inspires me very much.

John and I had a cup of coffee while we waited for people to arrive.  The room filled up quickly.

The Chaplain began the event by explaining the history of Armistice Day and Veterans Day.

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.  Armistice Day.

It was a magical moment in my life.  We sang song like Battle Hymn of the Republic, The Star Spangled Banner, and God Bless America.  We said the Pledge of Allegiance with our hands over our hearts.  They played the piano with grace, sang all in unison, and a trumpet player played every song and then Taps.

I spoke about my father who was in the Air Force for eight years.  Then I talked about my mother who was in the Air Force for four year.  And my sister who spent a year in Fallujah Iraq as part of the Seabees.

I talked about how when a few years ago I recorded my mother's video biography, when asked the question "any regrets?"  She said that her only regret was that all of her eight children did not go into the military service.  She said that was her only regret in her entire life.

I talked about the Veterans History Project and how our company has volunteered to record 100 video interviews of World War II veterans for free for the Library of Congress program.  The Chaplain said that over 20 percent of the residents in Covenant Shores had served in the military.

After my talk, several people came up to me and started telling me stories about the heroes of World War II and how they knew someone who's story needs to be recorded.  They told me stories of residents who were at Pearl Harbor, and Guadacanal.

Today was a fantastic day for me.  I cannot help to treasure my moments singing those patriotic songs with those patriotic heroes in our midst. 

You can learn more about Covenant Shores at

You can learn more about the Veterans History Project at

Thank you John Kneepkens for inviting me to this fun event.

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