Honoring the Fallen on Memorial Day - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Honoring the Fallen on Memorial Day

Honoring the Fallen on Memorial Day

MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. - People around the Inland Northwest gathered to pay their respects on Memorial Day. More than 1,400 men and women have been killed in combat since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that triggered the war.

At the Veteran's Cemetery in Memorial Lake, red, white and blue flags waved proudly as military families honored those loved and lost. Some grieving parents placed a single flower on their loved one's final resting place, some embraced in somber silence, while others posted smaller flags at remembrance walls.

This day, three generations of the Nix family paid respects to their eldest serving members, Korean war veterans James and Dorothy "Dottie" Nix who died just last year.  James was a Brigadier commander who received three Purple Hearts as well as a Distinguished Service Cross while his wife served as a nurse during several wars.

"I am immensely proud," Jess Morris said through tears, the Nix's son-in-law.

For Morris and the rest of his family, the sharp pangs of their family's loss was still evident.


"We're here to pay respects to our parents for service and sacrifice for their country," Morris tearfully continued.

Service and sacrifice are the reasons why dozens of families just like the Nix's gathered at the Medical Lake Cemetery to remember the men and women who gave their lives in combat as well as honored their unmatched commitment to country and freedom.

Men like Marine Corporal Joshua Dumaw of Spokane Valley who was killed June 22nd in Afghanistan. He was a West Valley High School graduate who was serving as a Military Police Officer when he was killed by an improvised explosive device.


Just a week ago, Army Sergeant First Class Clifford Beattie of Medical Lake was killed May 22nd in Baghdad, Iraq. He was a 1992 Medical Lake High School graduate who was also killed by an improvised explosive device.

In the course of an hour, the ceremony paid tribute to all fallen service members with speeches, songs and salutes.


"It is those we honor today with our prayers, with our songs, with our words, with our renewed commitment to their sacrifice that must not be forgotten," one speakers said.


"I'm paying honor to all the men and women who have gone before me," John McClure said, a disabled war veteran who came home wounded from two tours in Kuwait. McClure also comes from a long line of distinguished military family members.

"For someone to take a moment and realize the sacrifices that people take everyday would be well worth it to me at least," McClure said.

From one family to another,
flags proudly raised to full staff exactly at noon, to always remember the fallen.

"In all those homes where grief remains, may we never forget."

There have been nearly 4,800 U.S. combat fatalities in Iraq since 2003 and nearly 1,600 U.S. combat fatalities in Afghanistan since 2001.

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