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People honored to be part of Cedar Lawns Memorial Day service
For many people, Memorial Day is just a day off from school or work — a three-day weekend to kick off the summer.
But at Cedar Lawns Funeral Home and Memorial Park in Redmond, the holiday is a day to honor the country’s veterans and those who have died. The funeral home has held a Memorial Day service on site since 2010 and this year was no different.
The 5th Annual Memorial Day Service at Cedar Lawns was held Monday and brought in about 60 people from the community.
“It was nice,” said William Patterson, general manager at Cedar Lawns.
In addition to people from the community, he said members of Redmond fire and police departments attended the event. Redmond Mayor John Marchione was also in attendance as a guest speaker and gave a Memorial Day address.
City of Redmond chaplain Pat Hamman acted as the master of ceremonies and the flag ceremony was performed by the Overlake Composite Squadron Color Guard.
With a bagpiper and vocalist performing throughout the service, as well, Patterson said the event was pretty similar to the ones Cedar Lawn has held in the past, but they did tweak things a bit.
“We wanted to get the Boy Scouts involved more,” he said.
So this year, for the first time, Boy Scout Troop 597 in Redmond pitched in by going to Cedar Lawns the Friday before Memorial Day to place small flags on the graves of veterans. Patterson said there are about 600 veteran graves at the cemetery.
“It was great having them,” he said. “They were all very excited and all volunteered for next year.”
Cedar Lawns and Troop 597 connected when one scout contacted Patterson about cleaning grave markers in the older part of the cemetery for an Eagle Scout project. That boy is the son of Troop 597 Scoutmaster Steve Otteson.
“We were more than happy to help,” Otteson said.
Otteson said there were more than just scouts participating in the task as several of the scouts’ family members helped out, as well.
In addition to helping with the flag placements, Otteson said Patterson asked for a member of the troop to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. This honor went to Otteson’s son Andrew.
Otteson said his troop got involved in the ceremony at Cedar Lawns because love of country is very important to the Boy Scouts of America.
“Helping to honor those who served our country and especially those who gave their lives, fits in nicely with what we’re trying to teach our scouts,” he said.
Otteson is in charge of the 12-13-year-old scouts but the troop also has younger and older scouts from ages 8-17. He said troops of all ages were represented during the flag placement event.
At Monday’s Memorial Day event at Cedar Lawns, Otteson said he attended with his wife and three sons.
“My boys and I wore our scout uniforms,” he said, “and we were honored to be able to do that while there were also members of the armed services wearing their uniforms, as well.”