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Baker memorial services scheduled

Memorial services for Vernon Baker, a celebrated World War II veteran, will be held July 31 in his adopted hometown of St. Maries.

Baker, 90, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1997, a decoration that came 52 years after Baker led an assault that drove the German army out of northern Italy.

Services will begin at 11 a.m. at the Church of the Nazarene in St. Maries, 175 Grandview Drive. A reception will follow at the church. Baker will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Another public celebration of Baker’s life will be held Wednesday at the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene. The hourlong tribute will include a reading from Baker’s memoir, “Lasting Valor,” co-written by Ken Olsen, and a screening of the NBC documentary by the same name.

“It’s a platform for the public to come together and pay their respects,” said Rachel Dolezal, education director.

The event begins at 7 p.m. at the institute, 414  1/2 Mullan Ave. in Coeur d’Alene.

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