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Liberty Lake Residents Celebrate Memorial Day

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

There’s probably no more appropriate place for a Memorial Day ceremony than Liberty Lake, Washington. This morning [Monday], the city marked the day with its annual Memorial Day breakfast.

On the walk in to Pavillion Park, people were greeted by banners celebrating the lives of several Inland Northwest service members who were killed in the line of duty. People carried plates of breakfast to tables arranged in front of a stage. An honor guard from Fairchild Air Force Base presented the colors and a bugler stood next to a pole where flags were flying at half mast, blowing "Taps."

“Help us to remember those who have given their last full measure in the defense of this country as well as in the defense of oppressed people groups all over this world. Lord, help us to remember the families who they have left behind,” said Greg Wilt, pastor from the Liberty Lake Baptist Church.

Credit Doug Nadvornick/SPR
Retired Air Force Col. Brian Newberry

He was followed by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington) and the keynote speaker, retired Air Force Col. Brian Newberry. Memorial Day, Newberry said, is a personal day for him because he lost three airmen whose refueling tanker crashed in Kyrgyzstan in 2013.

His speech also remembered Ray Garland, the last of Spokane’s Pearl Harbor survivors who died recently, and the service members who participated in the D-Day invasion. Its 75th anniversary will be marked on June 6.

“We here, this morning, highly resolve that these dead shall not die in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall never, never perish from the earth," Newberry said.

Memorial Day, said Newberry, is also a day to embrace the living. He honored the girls whom he now leads as CEO of the regional chapter of Girl Scouts for working to secure donations of thousands of boxes of Girl Scout cookies to send overseas to soldiers.