Ceremonies honor fallen veterans

Service groups plan to visit region’s cemeteries

— Ceremonies to honor fallen veterans are planned around the region on Monday, May 27, for Memorial Day.

Okanogan American Legion Post No. 56 will start at 8 a.m. at the Chiliwist Cemetery, at the intersection of Old Highway 97 and Chiliwist Road, with a flag and rifle ceremony, member Ed Thiele said.

After that, similar ceremonies are planned at the Malott Community Cemetery on North Malott Road, Spring Coulee Cemetery on Dry Coulee Road just off Spring Coulee Road, Okanogan Valley Memorial Gardens on the Conconully Highway near Root Lane, Okanogan City Cemetery on Cemetery Road, Omak Memorial Cemetery on North Fourth Avenue in Okanogan, and Riverside Cemetery on U.S. Highway 97 just south of town.

Thiele said no specific times are planned, but the group usually wraps up the six-cemetery tour by noon.

To the south, the Brewster American Legion Post No. 97 plans visits to several cemeteries on Memorial Day, plus the traditional wreath-dropping ceremony on the Columbia River bridge.

A Huey helicopter, owned by Ed Pariseau, is scheduled to fly over the bridge at 9:30 a.m. so a wreath can be dropped from it into the water. A fly-by also is planned, post Cmdr. Denny Pittman said.

The Vietnam War-era UH-1B helicopter is part of a fleet Pariseau uses to blow rain off cherries.

In the other ceremonies, flags and crosses will be placed on veterans’ graves at area ceremonies, Pittman said.

Help is needed Saturday, May 25, to spruce up the Brewster Cemetery on Locust Way. The work party starts at 9:30 a.m.

On Memorial Day, ceremonies are planned at 9 a.m. at the Pateros Cemetery, 103 Cemetery Road; 10 a.m. at Packwood Cemetery, about four miles south of the Brewster bridge on the Douglas County side of the Columbia River; 11 a.m. at the Fort Okanogan Cemetery, on U.S. Highway 97 just south of the Monse bridge; 11:30 a.m. at the Brewster Cemetery, and noon at the Legion post, 102 N. Main St., Brewster.

Ceremonies will include a prayer for veterans, laying of wreaths, rifle salutes and playing of “Taps.”

In the Grand Coulee area, pancake breakfasts are planned from 6:30-11 a.m. Saturday, May 25, and 6:30-10 a.m. Sunday at the Veterans Hall on state Highway 155 in Electric City.

Admission will be charged. The menu includes pancakes, ham, sausage and eggs.

On Monday, American Legion Post No. 157 will host the Isle of Flags dedication at 11 a.m. at Spring Canyon Cemetery on Spring Canyon Campground Road off state Highway 174, Grand Coulee.

Thirteen new flags will be dedicated to deceased veterans, project chairman Ben Alling said.

The project started in 1976 and has grown to more than 500 flags. Honorees must have been residents of the Grand Coulee area or have some connection, such as work.

An opening prayer, dedication of flags, honor guard firing rifles and playing of “Taps” are planned.

A Boy Scout group will explain the meaning of each fold as flags are folded, Alling said.

Families of the new inductees will be invited to participate, though no speeches are planned.

The flags either were casket flags or were purchased by the family involved.

Nespelem American Legion Post No. 114 plans to send honor guards to each of the reservation’s four districts.

One group will go to St. Mary’s Mission, 25 Mission Road, at 9 a.m.; Monse Cemetery, on U.S. Highway 97 just south of the Monse bridge, at 10 a.m.; Chiliwist Cemetery, near the intersection of Old Highway 97 and Chiliwist Road, at 10:30 a.m., and Ellisforde Cemetery, off U.S. Highway 97 at Ellisforde, at 11:30 a.m.

Other groups will visit cemeteries in the Nespelem, Keller and Inchelium districts. Times for those ceremonies hadn’t been firmed up as of press time.

At each location, the groups plan a 21-gun salute, playing of “Taps” and readings, spokesman Arnie Holt said.

Oroville American Legion Hodges Post No. 84 plans services at 9 a.m. at Riverview Cemetery, about two miles south of Oroville across from 157 Golden Road, and 11 a.m. at Loomis Cemetery, 1033 Loomis-Oroville Road.

A ceremony is planned at 11:30 a.m. at the cemetery pavilion, with a potluck afterward. Indian drummers will participate.

A Loomis Mountain View Cemetery Association business meeting is at 1 p.m.

The Riverview event includes participation by the Canadian Legion, playing of the U.S. and Canadian anthems and a brief ceremony, post Cmdr. Louie Wilson said.

Both events include shooting of a ceremonial cannon and playing of “Taps.”

In Ferry County, American Legion Post No. 80, Republic, plans a ceremony honoring sailors at 9 a.m. on the Curlew bridge over the Kettle River just off state Highway 21.

A second ceremony, honoring service personnel, is planned at 11 a.m. at the Republic Cemetery, 111 Klondike Road.

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