MEDICAL LAKE – On Saturday, hundreds of veterans’ graves will be presented with pine wreaths donned with red ribbons as part of the national program, Wreaths Across America.
More than a dozen cemeteries in Washington state are participating in the program this year. The Ladies and Gentlemen of the Washington State Veterans Cemetery of Medical Lake sponsored the program with assistance from the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association and a number of private individuals
Spokane resident Rhonda Beattie lost her son, Sergeant First Class Clifford Beattie in 2011. This will be her third Christmas since he was killed in action during his third tour in Iraq.
This is also the third year Rhonda Beattie and Clifford’s family will attend the Wreaths Across America ceremony in Medical Lake.
“Everybody out here has served their country and we need to honor them,” Rhonda Beattie said. “Not everybody was killed in action, but everybody was willing.”
Rhonda Beattie holds her Christmas memories of her son close to her heart and it brings her happiness to see the wreaths hanging above the column buriam where he is buried.
“It makes me think and hope that that other people can have good memories at Christmas of their lost loved ones,” Beattie said. “The wreaths are such an important part.”
The public is invited to attend the special ceremony at the State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 12 p.m. It is expected to last about 35 minutes before the wreath laying begins.