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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

How to observe Memorial Day this weekend in the Spokane area

Gary Swedlund and his sister, Sue Collison, pause at the graves of their parents, E. Lee and Norma Swedlund, during a visit to Greenwood Memorial Terrace on Wednesday. Gary said they come every year and Sue said they come early to avoid the Memorial Day weekend rush.  (DAN PELLE/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Saydee Phothivongsa The Spokesman-Review The Spokesman-Review

Memorial Day is a time to honor and remember those who have fallen in the line of service, and there are plenty of ways to get involved in Spokane over the weekend.

Each Memorial Day since 1971, over 3,900 full-size American flags stand guard throughout each of the Fairmount Memorial Association’s cemeteries, honoring those who have served and marking the start of the Veterans Flag program.

The program began when a man asked whether the association could honor his wife’s first husband, who had died, by flying a large American flag in his honor each Memorial Day, said Candace Aramburu, Fairmount Memorial Association’s director of PR and marketing.

People are welcome to purchase a flag in honor of a loved one or donate to the flag program. The flags fly in the same spots each year, creating a special tradition for people to visit the same flag every Memorial Day, Aramburu said.

Events by Fairmount Memorial Association for the long weekend include a 5K run, a salute to service concert, a pancake breakfast, a flag retirement service and two Memorial Day services, according to event flyers.

Proceeds from events such as the 5K, concert and breakfast will benefit Behind the Call of Duty, Second Harvest food bank and the Spokane Police Chaplaincy, the flyer says.

The State Veterans Cemetery at Medical Lake will also hold a Memorial Day Ceremony at 11 a.m. Gravesite flags will be placed at the cemetery to honor those who have died, according to a news release.

The Daughters of the American Revolution will dedicate a Never Forget Veterans garden marker at Liberty Lake Orchards Park on Memorial Day at 2 p.m., according to a news release.

Holy Cross Funeral and Cemetery Services will have two Memorial Day masses.

One will be held at 10 a.m. at Holy Cross Cemetery, the other at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Cemetery, said Clint Champion, director of funeral and cemetery services, via email.

Champion said they are hoping for pleasant weather so the services can be held outside.

Coeur d’Alene Memorial Gardens is also hosting a Memorial Day Celebration where veterans will be honored with an outdoor service.

The service will include food, beverages and a roll call for veterans who have died since last Memorial Day, according to their website.

The celebration will be held at the Coeur d’Alene Memorial Gardens at 11 a.m., and the service will be hosted by the Pappy Boyington Detachment No. 966 of the Marine Corp, said TJ Harris, Coeur d’Alene Memorial Gardens general manager, via email.

Everyone is invited as love and respect are shown to fallen military members who have served and protected the country, he said.