Large crowd expected at military funeral for Delbert Belton

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by WHITNEY WARD & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on August 28, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 18 at 7:20 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--The World War II army veteran who was beaten to death in a North Spokane parking lot will be buried Thursday at noon.

Family members said Delbert Belton will be buried at Greenwood Cemetery with full military honors. The public is welcome to attend. The burial will also be carried live on KREM.com.

The military burial is expected to draw people from across the region and beyond. Larry Griffiths never knew Delbert “Shorty” Belton, but said he and his local Patriot Guard Riders plan to attend the funeral.

“We're here to let you know that we care about Delbert,” said Griffiths, “and we care about his service, and we care about them.”

Patriot Guard Riders are a common presence at military services. Yet, Griffiths said they are also ready for any uninvited guests who may arrive.

“I have a team within our group, I give a code word and that team moves from the flag line to wherever the uninvited guests might be,” he added.

The military service at Greenwood Cemetery will feature a three-volley gun salute and the ceremonial flag folding. Leaders from U.S. Army and the Air Force will explain the symbolism for each of the 13 folds before presenting it to the family.

“It's patriotism,” said Spc. Jon Hauger, “it's honoring the family members and the veteran who has passed away for their service to our country.”
   
On Friday, a more personal church service will be held a North Hill Christian (4620 N Post St.). The 2:00 p.m. service is open to the public. However, the church only holds about 300 people.

Belton was found beaten in a North Spokane parking lot on August 21st. He died the following morning.

Police arrested two teenagers in connection with the attack. Both teenagers are being tried as adults and charged with First Degree Murder. One of the suspects claimed that he met Belton to try and buy drugs. Investigators called the claim “ridiculous.”

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