In recognition of the 100th Anniversary of World War I and in memory of the King County and City of Seattle employees who then left their families, jobs, and lives to serve our nation, King County Council Vice Chairs Reagan Dunn and Rod Dembowski unveiled two refurbished bronze plaques at the entrance of the King County Courthouse.
100 years ago today, President Woodrow Wilson sought a declaration of war to join our allies fighting in the Great War, now known as World War One. In recognition of this moment in history and in memory of the King County and City of Seattle employees who then left their families, jobs, and lives to serve our nation, King County Council Vice Chairs Reagan Dunn and Rod Dembowski unveiled two refurbished bronze plaques at the entrance of the King County Courthouse.
“In the face of danger and discomfort, far away from home, our troops fought for our country and for freedom,” said Dunn. “King County will never forget that sacrifice, and these rededicated plaques serve as a physical reminder of that commitment.”
During the war, more than 60,000 residents of Washington served in the Army, Navy, Marines or Coast Guard including more than 500 employees of Seattle and King County government.
In 1931, King County and the City of Seattle affixed bronze plaques entitled “Honor Roll of County Employees” and “Honor Roll of City Employees” at the entrance to the County-City Building — now the King County Courthouse —to honor the service of these brave men and women.
Time and weathering left the plaques in need of repair, so Dunn and Dembowski advocated for funds to restore these pieces of local history. Today’s ceremony rededicated the newly restored plaques so that they may serve as a reminder of service for many years to come.
“It’s an honor to able to take part in events like these especially for veterans of WWI and WWII who led the way,” said Al Zarb of Enumclaw’s VFW Post Hall 1949. “There’s not many of those veterans left and their story must continue to be told.”
One of the names honored on the county memorial plaque was Howard E. McDonald. McDonald worked for King County as a Deputy Coroner and led an inquest into the gas explosion on December 24th, 1913, in No. 14 Mine of the Pacific Coast Coal Company in Black Diamond that led to the death of John Jackson Finn and Amedia Rossi.
To see the newly rededicated plaques, visit the 4th Avenue entrance to the King County Courthouse (516 3rd Ave). The memorial is located on the 4th Avenue side of the building between James and Jefferson streets.
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Caption: Before and after photos of King County’s newly refurbished plaque honoring county employees who served in the First World War.