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Posts tagged: Memorial Day

Memorial Day ~ we honor and remember

Today we remember and honor the men and women who served our country through their military commitment. We continue to cherish freedom so many other countries do not enjoy. We are a grateful nation.

(S-R archive photo: Mark and Terri Stiltz pose for a photo on their deck on March 27, with the flag they fly to honor their son Matt Stiltz, who died Nov. 12, 2012, in Afghanistan.)

CPR at the Cemetery

Heritage Funeral Home and Crematory always offers some interesting programs each Memorial Day weekend, coming up May 25, 26 and 27.

This year it's a tribute to veterans with displays and memorabilia, classic cars and musical entertainment all three days in the Heritage Chapel. Plus a brass band concert at 6 p.m. Sunday May 26 in Greenwood Memorial Terrace Cemetery.

But Heritage is also offering free CPR classes, using the hands-only method that recent research says is effective. Some people are too intimidated to perform mouth-to-mouth, so the hope is that the more people who learn the hands-only method, the more people will do CPR in emergencies.

The staff at Heritage had training because people sometimes pass out at memorial services, according to funeral director Paula Davis.

The staff learned so much that they are offering free lessons to members of the public, in partnership with  American Medical Response.

The classes will be offered at every hour on the hour all three days, starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m.

No need to sign up in advance. Just show up. You could save a life someday because of it.

(S-R File photo of hands-on CPR)

A 68-year-old thank you

In my Sunday story, Fred Carter, a Royal Air Force servicemen who took a leave here in 1944 and was hosted by two Spokane women, said a big thank you to Spokane for the hospitality 68 years ago. The two women, Eva Hardin and Ada Schaefer, have been dead for decades, but for a week or so, as I lived with their story, they came alive for me.

They seemed like warm, smart, kind and caring women living a nontraditional life here in the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s — career women, no spouses, no children. And most of the people who even knew them have died now, too. I thought for sure this morning I'd have phone calls from others who knew the women. But so far, no.

It's one more reminder how fast our lives go. But a good reminder, too, that the good works we do can last much longer in people's hearts and memories.

As Fred, now 85, told me: “They were so welcoming. I just can’t get over it.”

(About the photo: Fred Carter, right, poses with his hosts, Ada Schaefer (seated) and Eva Hardin, along with fellow airman Charlie Abbott. The two Royal Air Force servicemen spent their leave at the women’s home in Spokane in October 1944. Photo courtesy of Fred Carter.)

Family connections

My grandfather served in the military in WWI. At some time after he came home, he needed a job.

He walked into the county offices in Duluth, Minnesota and told the clerk that he was there to apply for a job.

Grandpa was told there were no openings at the time. He replied, “That’s okay. I will just wait here until there is a job.”
He sat in the waiting area all day. He returned the next day and the next day. At the end of the third day, he was told that he was so tenacious, they would find him work.

They did.

He became the first Veterans’ Service Officer in St. Louis County, in Duluth, Minnesota.

Today, his great-grandson (my nephew) left home for his tour of duty in Afghanistan. My heart is filled with gratitude and anxiety.

I only hope that when my nephew comes home, he will have someone like his great-grandfather there to help him, if he needs it.

(S-R archives photo)

A poem, a poppy

Did you ever wonder what the connection is between poppies and Memorial Day?

Read on…

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army


Find a

A work buddy told me about a cool website,, where you can look for gravesites in a variety of ways. You can search on a name or search at a specific cemetery.

I tried Fairmount Memorial Park on Spokane's North side. And though it lists, in alphabetical order, about 6.000 people buried there, the searches on my family members buried there didn't find them but I did find some old friends of my parent's.

Anyway, it's worth a look.

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Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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