PENINSULA: Tributes to fallen service members on Memorial Day today

  • Monday, May 28, 2001 12:01am
  • News

>

By Cynthia JOnes

Pfc. Richard B. Anderson was just 22 when he grabbed a live grenade and tucked it into his midsection, saving the lives of three other Marines.

Anderson, a Sequim High School graduate who grew up in Agnew, was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Today at noon, his heroic death 57 years ago in World War II will be marked with the dedication of a memorial at Veterans Park next to the Clallam County, 223 E. Fourth St. in Port Angeles.

It is one of several Memorial Day events planned in Jefferson and Clallam counties.

It was Feb. 1, 1944, when Anderson used his own body to muffle that exploding grenade. He and the other Marines were in a 15-foot deep shell hole at the edge of a contested airfield on the South Pacific island of Roi Namur.

Later that year, his family was presented with the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest battlefield honor.

In 1945, a destroyer launched from a Seattle shipyard was named the USS Richard B. Anderson, and his brother, Machinist’s Mate Robert L. Anderson, was among its first crew members.

But while Anderson’s memory has been honored periodically by local veterans groups, his ultimate sacrifice has largely gone unnoticed in Clallam County and the rest of the North Olympic Peninsula.

That will be rectified today when the memorial to the Medal of Honor winner is unveiled today.

Among those attending the ceremonies will be former Sgt. Harry Pearce, one of the three Marines that Anderson died protecting from the grenade’s blast.

A 48-star American flag that was draped over Anderson’s casket will fly over the park as the monument dedicated to Anderson is unveiled.

In addition to Pearce, others expected to attend the ceremonies include Clallam County Commissioner Mike Chapman; members of the Port Angeles City Council; members of the 4th Marine Division Association who served with Anderson; Ron Vaughn, past president of the USS Richard B. Anderson Shipmates Association; a Navy chaplain and others.

Elsewhere on the Peninsula today:

Port Angeles and Sequim

* In honor of all veterans, there will be a 9 a.m. ceremony at Mount Angeles Memorial Park, Highway 101 and Monroe Road in Port Angeles, and an 11 a.m. ceremony at Sequim View/Dungeness Cemeteries, corner of Sequim-Dungeness Way and Medsker Road.

Both ceremonies are sponsored by local chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

* In Port Williams, the Marlyn Wayne Nelson Memorial Park “Liberty Bell” will ring four times at 10 a.m. in a ceremony on the beach at the east end of Port Williams Road.

* Wreaths will be laid on a monument to veterans in front of the Port Angeles Veterans’ Center, 216 S. Francis St., in a ceremony planned to start at 10:30 a.m.

Marine Corps League piper Don Alward will play “Amazing Grace” and “Taps” on the bagpipes, and a rifle salute will be fired to honor deceased veterans.

* Dungeness Cemetery on Lotzgessel Road in Sequim, a historical cemetery where many pioneers are buried, will be open today with graves decorated by American flags and flowers.

Port Townsend/Jefferson County

* Color guards from several veterans groups will join a 10 a.m. ceremony in Fort Worden Cemetery in Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend.

* At 11 a.m., color guards will join in the ceremony at Laurel Grove Cemetery, on Old Discovery Road near the intersection with 19th Street, Port Townsend.

* American Legion auxiliary members will throw flowers into the water to remember those who died at sea in a noon ceremony on the City Dock, near the intersection of Water and Madison streets in Port Townsend.

* A 12:30 p.m. community memorial service will take place at Gardiner Cemetery, on Gardiner Cemetery Road near the intersection with Highway 101 in Gardiner.

* A community gathering, complete with color guards, is planned for 2:30 p.m. at the Chimacum Cemetery, on Beaver Valley Road near Center Valley Road, Chimacum.

Joyce and West End

* In Forks, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post is sponsoring a community ceremony at the Blue Star Memorial, next to the flagpoles on Main Street south of the traffic light, at 11 a.m.

* Colors presented by the Port Angeles Civil Air Patrol will open an 11 a.m. ceremony at the Pioneer Cemetery on Crescent Beach Road in the Joyce area.

PDN staff writers Lora Green and Roger Harnack contributed to this report.

More in News

The Port Angeles School District is expected to sell its former administrative services building to Olympic Medical Center in February. (Paul Gottlieb/Peninsula Daily News)
Olympic Medical Center buying school’s site

Building across from courthouse

Kathy Ryan checks on salad greens at the Quimper Grange food-bank garden, one of 10 plots that provided thousands of pounds to local food banks last year. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
Food bank gardens in a growth spurt

Expansion in works for Food Bank Farm Gardens

One place where COVID-19 testing is available in Port Angeles is the Olympic Medical Center drive-up testing facility at the former Wells Fargo Bank at Front and Race streets. Intake forms must be filed out before testing is done. The form can be found at www.olympicmedical.org/services/covid-19-services. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)
Peninsula COVID-19 cases grow by 407 over weekend

Peak expected in about two weeks

Navy plans security exercise

Naval Magazine Indian Island will conduct security training exercises… Continue reading

Vacancy opens on board formerly known as SARC

The Clallam County Park & Recreation District No. 1 has… Continue reading

tsr
Sequim’s Kiwanis Club disbands, joins Port Angeles group

Last grants support local organizations

DOT cancels overnight Hood Canal Bridge closures for fourth time

New closures set for next week; if those are canceled, disruption will be scheduled for following week

Mark Willis enjoys a day at the beach with granddaughter Bryn in 2020. (Willis/Harrington family)
Former Sequim schools administrator recovering after strokes

The family of a fixture of Sequim schools is raising… Continue reading

Port Townsend City Manager John Mauro.
Work plan for Port Townsend lacks workers

Staffing, bidding a challenge

Most Read