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For the first time in 10 years, there won’t be a remembrance on Memorial Day at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake. Other cemeteries, usually a gathering place on the holiday, are altering their plans for visitors to remember their loved ones.
The bond between the beaches of Normandy and the grassy land around Medical Lake glowed in the sun Monday morning, as 1,300 people gathered to commemorate the nation’s war dead and those who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces.
Hundreds of patrons came to the Medical Lake burial ground Saturday to pay their respects as part of Wreaths Across America Day. Many wreaths were set on the gravestones by friends and family members who braved the icy conditions to be part of the ceremony.
Volunteer riders from all over Washington escorted the remains of 28 former service members and their families to the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake on Wednesday afternoon. The cemetery recently received a $2.18 million federal grant that has allowed them to increase the space for the cremated remains of former service members.
Some 79 years after he fell off a fishing boat and sank into obscurity, World War I veteran Henry Hartman finally had funeral services Thursday with full military honors in front of five generations of his family, most of whom he never got to meet.
Plans for a second Idaho state veterans cemetery in eastern Idaho won approval from the state Land Board on Tuesday, nearly a decade after plans for a North Idaho state veterans cemetery were dropped.
Peter Bang, 91, was the last surviving child of a large, close Spokane Valley family that sent five children to World War II.
On a sunny, blustery Friday at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake, the wind tugged at the huge flag and whistled around the shelter where a family was soon to gather for a last goodbye. As cars carrying the family of the deceased lined up in the long driveway, honor guard Tom Christie stood up to get ready.
Andy Norberg was just a few months old when his father, a Navy Reserve pilot, disappeared and was presumed dead. “Some of the things that I knew, when I grew up, it was all hearsay information,” Norberg said from his shop in Greenacres last week.
Their cremated remains have been in storage at mortuaries and churches throughout the state, some for more than 40 years. On a blustery Tuesday morning, in handcrafted boxes of purpleheart wood from Central America, 46 veterans and one military spouse were laid to rest at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake. Some of those, placed in the row of niches, served overseas in World War I.
St. George’s School senior Cody Mekus brought some students last fall to Frankie Doodle’s in downtown Spokane to interview a group of Vietnam War veterans. Mekus, a history buff, was compiling a database of area veterans for his Eagle Scout project. Mekus interviewed a man who said he had never found anyone he could talk to about one of his wartime experiences until then, and it felt good to get it off his chest. Mekus said the Army helicopter pilot “had one of the most interesting stories.”
Taps is 24 notes that can make the toughest soldier cry. It’s a musical recognition of a life ended, a goodbye that hangs in the air as friends and family wipe their tears, look up and know they must live the rest of their lives without someone.
Paul Fuchs has a soft spot in his heart for veterans, especially those like his father who served in the Korean War. So when he heard the ashes of a Korean War vet from Spokane were sitting in storage, unclaimed by her family, it bothered Fuchs.
The Missing in America Project ceremony to inter the unclaimed remains of more than 50 Washington veterans is at 3 p.m. Friday at the state Veterans Cemetery, 21702 Espanola Road, Medical Lake.
The sun warmed my shoulders and a breeze ruffled the flags that stretched out along the horizon. I laid the red, white and blue bouquet next to a pot of yellow roses, and Sam stuck a pinwheel into the ground that soon spun in a blur of colors as the wind reached it. Tombstones jutted in orderly rows like soldiers standing at attention. The Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake is a beautiful spot and my father-in-law’s final resting place.
Dozens of flags snapped in the breeze Monday as hundreds gathered for a Memorial Day ceremony at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake. Bonnie Hunter sat on a concrete bench with daughter Jenni Ham and grandson Jared Fretheim. Her husband, Lt. Col. Daniel K. Hunter, died in January and is buried in the cemetery. He served in the Army for 23 years, Hunter said, and it was his dedication to the military that drew her to Monday’s ceremony. “It meant a lot to him,” she said.
When Lyndon A. Atwood died in Clarkston six years ago, no one noticed for days. He was broke. No next of kin. The county eventually cremated him, and an acquaintance apparently picked up the remains and placed them in the trunk of his car. Where they sat, it appears, until six weeks ago. That’s when workers at an auto-detailing shop in Lewiston opened that trunk and found the remains of Lyndon A. Atwood and an American flag.