Opinion

Remembering our heroes

Two weeks ago we ran a story about three fallen heroes from the Snoqualmie Valley and the efforts to educate a new generation about their ultimate sacrifice. Bud Davenport, Bob Montgomery and Ron Johnson were three Mount Si graduates who gave their lives for their country during the Vietnam War.

I did not know them since my family did not move here until 1966, but while talking with several of their family members and friends, it became obvious these men had a profound impact on the community and their loss shook the very core of the high school.

The whole process of understanding these three men started with this year's first home football game. I heard several people comment on how short the flagpole was in comparison to the raised field. After all, a $15-million sports complex deserves a prominent American flag.

I didn't really know the story about Bud, Bob and Ron, but had seen their names on the plaque gracing the flagpole at the old stadium. Overgrown bushes had made it impossible for anyone to read their names unless they were standing right next to the flagpole's base.

The original flagpole was erected by volunteers in 1967 with materials purchased using donations made in the memory of the three men. At the top of the flagpole was a baseball of Bob Montgomery's that had been covered with fiberglass and then bronzed. Unfortunately, nobody knew the story behind the baseball until the old flagpole had been scrapped prior to construction of the new stadium. The plaque bearing the men's names was saved and now graces the base of the current flagpole.

A common theme that emerged after talking with the soldiers' family members and friends was that the three were typical Mount Si graduates. They were proud of the community in which they grew up, all were involved in sports and all were beloved by their families.

Fred Lawrence, a good friend of mine who coached both Bob and Ron in track and went to high school with Bud, still gets emotional when he remembers that group. After all, the track team of 1965 won the state championship for Mount Si when Fred was the coach.

The story in the Valley Record a few weeks ago was written to educate the community on the only Mount Si graduates to have died in combat. Several generations have passed through the school since these three attended, but few knew their story. Our goal was to inform our readers of their contributions to the community and the school.

So, the Alumni Association and local VFW are taking on this project to increase the flag pole height so it can be clearly seen from all parts of the complex. But as you know, tackling this project requires money and in this case about $6K is needed. Both groups are seeking donations to fund the new flag pole and this is where I ask you, our community, to help out. If you are interested in helping carry on the legacy of three local men who gave their lives for their country, please send donations to:

Mount Si High School

Alumni Association

P.O. Box 1755

Snoqualmie, WA 98065.

All donations are tax deductible.

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