April 28, 2009 · Updated 1:31 PM
On May 4, 2009, the Mercer Island City Council will consider a proposal to endorse “Riley Cove” as the official name of a cove located on the North end of the Island. We think this is an excellent idea, and we hope the City Council agrees.
The cove in question is the body of water located between the Roanoke Inn and Luther Burbank Park. It has no official name today. A group of neighbors who live on the cove came up with the idea of naming it Riley Cove, after spending some time recently with one of Mercer Island’s finest citizen’s, Hu Riley. We learned that not only is Hu’s family one of the pioneering families of Mercer Island, having lived on the cove for nearly 100 years, but Hu himself has spent his entire life, all 88 years of it, living in the same home on the cove.
Moreover, Hu is a genuine war hero. Hu landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day, 1944; was hit several times by gunfire; was the subject of a world-famous Robert Capa photograph taken on Omaha Beach; was also in the first wave of invasions in North Africa and Sicily; was seriously wounded in the Battle of the Bulge; and ultimately received three Purple Hearts. Hu’s service to his country was in the great tradition of all veterans, and naming the cove Riley Cove would be an honor to all who’ve served, past and present.
On top of all that, Hu is a kind and humble man, and he and his wife, Charlotte, are simply delightful folks.
The power to name a geographic feature such as a cove resides with the Washington State Board on Geographic Names. An endorsement of the idea by the Mercer Island City Council would presumably carry significant weight when the State Board considers the matter on May 15, 2009. As a result, we strongly urge the City Council to issue the requested endorsement at its May 4 meeting.
Bob Brahm, Commander VFW Post 5760, Mercer Island