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December 17, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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December 17, 2015
 

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I CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, December 17, 2015 NEWS continued from page 1 Across America, said they were able to raise enough Wreaths Across America money that first year to history of the program, purchase 300 wreathes. company owner Morrill Like the national effort, Worcester remembered the Eastern Washington the impression a trip to observance has grown Arlington National Cem- every year since then. etery in Washington D.C. In 2014, over 700,000 had made on him as a wreaths were laid on young boy and realized veterans' headstones and he had an opportunity to at mausoleums at over honor the service of the 1,000 locations nationally, veterans laid there, thanks to fundraising With the assistancefrom 2,047 organizations. of Maine Sen. Olympia These include corpora- Snowe, arrangements tions along with indi- were made that year to viduals, and trucking and deliver and place the shipping supplies who wreaths in an older sec- donated their services. At Medical Lake, 1,000 wreaths were laid last year. This past Thurs- day, the cemetery took tion of Arlington that had been receiving fewer visitors each year. Or- ganizations and indi- viduals stepped up to help in future years to make the event a quiet, annual tradition until 2005 when photos of Ar- lington stones adorned with wreaths received national attention via the Internet. Requests from other national and state cem- eteries across the coun- try began to come in to Worcester. Realizing he couldn't donate thou- sands of wreaths, he be- gan by shipping seven wreaths to each cemetery in honor of the seven military branches. In 2007, the Worcester family along with other individuals, veterans and families who worked on the program at Arlington, formed the non-profit Wreaths Across America, whose motto is "Remem- ber - Honor -- Teach," to expand the annual obser- vance. In 2010, the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Washington State Veter- ans Cemetery chapter of the recently constructed Medical Lake facility, with help from a local chapter of the Daughters of the A/nerican Revo- lution, joined Wreaths Across America to honor veterans in Eastern Wash- ington. Joyce Durrant, chap- ter coordinator, Wreaths delivery of 135 boxes, nine-plus pallets, totaling 1,200 wreaths. "That Was our goal," Durrant said while watching the semi-truck containing the wreathes enter the facility's un- loading area. "Every year it grows, so next year we'll be looking for more," she added, The Ladies and Gen- tlemen of the Washington State Veterans Cemetery sold the wreaths for $15 each, with the Wreaths Across America orga- nization donating one wreath for every two sold. Durrant's husband, Doug Durrant, said they received donations from Contributed photos by Veterans Cemetery Director Rudy Lopez Truck driver Fred Fossett had a special paint job applied to his semi to honor veterans on his first trip delivering wreaths for Wreaths Across America. all over the region/in-i cluding as far Newport and "The word is getting : around," he added. First-year Volunteer truck driver Fred: Fossett was honored for his ser- vice in a brief ceremony prior to unloading by Durrant and other mem- bers of the veteran's cem- etery organization along with representatives from Fairchild Air Force Base and cemetery director Rudy Lopez. Fossett had his semi specially painted for the trip, with mem- bers of all seven military branches depicted on the passenger's side and the World War II-era battle- ship U.S.S. Missouri on the driver's side. With a brisk wind whipping through over- head power lines and building openings pro- viding a melodic while somber musical backdrop to the unloading process, Fossett - who was also headed to the, Western Washington cemetery to drop off wreaths - re- counted his trip, which took him from his home in Sedona, Ariz. to Maine to pick up wreaths and then to the cold and gray cemetery along Espanola Road. "Truly wreaths across the country," he said. John McCal- ium can be'reached at ymac@cheneyfreepress. com. State seeks to buy forest conservation easements OLYMPIA - Do you own for- habitat for species protected by the channel migration zone and critical ested property that includes habitat state Forest Practices Act as threat- habitat categories are available from for a threatened or endangered ened or endangered, or which have the Rivers and Habitat Open Space species protected under state forest channel migration zones - areas Program found on the web at www. practices rules? The Washington State where a river's active channel mean- dnr.wa.gov. Department of Natural Resources ders. These islands of timber are vital Since 2002, the state of Wash- (DNR) is seeking owners of qualify- to water quality as well as to species ington has invested $4.4 million to ing forestland interested in selling like salmon and steelhead, purchase easements through the permanent conservation easements To be considered for an ease- program. to the state, ment purchase, landowners must Landowners who wish to learn The Rivers and Habitat Open submit their applications to DNR more about the program may reach Space Program purchases easements by 5 p.m., March 21, 2016. Instruc- Dan Pomerenk, Program Manager, from those whose property includes tions and applications for both the at 360-902-1427 or by email at dan. ! Photos by John McCallum Washington State Veterans Cemetery shop crews unload pallets of wreaths from Fred Fossett's trailer (top) and store them in the facility's shop (middle) last Thursday. Bottom: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Washington State Veterans Cemetery volunteer Mary M orrison presents Fossett with a token of appreciation from the group. : Nice Selection Of Giftware, : Decor, Beautiful Holidayltems and Much More .... 6 CheneY.SPokane Road