Ceremony to give proper burial to local war veterans

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by HONORA SWANSON & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on September 19, 2013 at 7:15 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 24 at 8:58 PM

MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. -- A burial ceremony was scheduled Thursday to honor nearly 50 war veterans who would finally be getting a proper funeral.

Local craftsman Mike Ross spent weeks building special wooden urns for a group of veterans.  He would not take money for the project.

“I don’t do it for recognition,” Ross said.  “It's not about me, just something I enjoy to do.”

The urns were being prepared for war heroes that were never identified or went unclaimed when they died.  The program Missing in America worked to find out who the veterans were and made sure they had a final resting place at Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake.

Ross decided to help after watching the ceremony on the news.  He said before, the ashes of veterans were placed in a cardboard-like box.

“They deserve better than that,” he said.  “They've done for us, so I do what I can for them.”

Ross does not have a military background but he knew he had the skills to help.  He sought out special wood called ‘purple heart’ that has a natural purple tint to prepare urns for the fallen veterans.

“There's many circumstances,” Ross added.  “Some are unfortunate, sometimes they've outlived their family, and there’s nobody to do anything for them.”

The burial ceremony was set for 1 p.m. Thursday.

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