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Marysville honors veterans

Marysville Cub Scout Tyler Killham places a flag near the headstone of a veteran on Nov. 11. - Kirk Boxleitner
Marysville Cub Scout Tyler Killham places a flag near the headstone of a veteran on Nov. 11.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Cemetery drew more than its usual number of visitors for the week of Veterans Day, according to cemetery administrator Scott Locke.

Locke recalled that members of a Lake Stevens history class visited Nov. 9 to place fresh flowers on the graves of veterans, while members of Marysville Boy Scouts of America Troop 82 paid their respects early in the morning of Nov. 11. More than a dozen Marysville Cub Scouts from Pack 80 followed that morning, accompanied by parents and older siblings, to plant flags on the veterans’ graves.

“It’s really nice of them to do that,” said Locke, who served in the Navy for 23 years. “The veterans really appreciate it. We love when people come to visit us, because we don’t feel like such a forgotten place. It’s nice to see traffic coming in and out of here for reasons other than funerals.”

Pack 80 Cubmaster Trace Brewer explained to the Cub Scouts that they could locate veterans’ graves by looking for headstones that indicated the veterans’ branches of service or wars in which they served.

“It’s a learning experience for them,” Brewer said. “They read the dates and see which ones were the oldest and youngest to serve, and it gives them a greater understanding.”

Caleb Wiles, 8, has been planting flags at the cemetery for the past five years. His father serves in the Coast Guard and his mother, Linda, appreciates the annual event for helping her son develop respect for those veterans who have passed on.

Fellow 8-year-old Cub Scout Tyler Killham said that he thinks about the lives of the veterans whose headstones he reads, although he admitted, “I don’t know how I feel about that.” His father, Ed, is second-generation military, the son of a Korean War veteran whose nine years in the Navy ended in 2001.

“Patriotism was why I joined,” Ed Killham said. “I wanted to protect my country. I miss the friends I made, some of whom I haven’t seen in a while. I had a good stint.”

Jim and JoAnn Mulligan are a bit too old to be Cub Scouts, but they’ve nonetheless planted flags on veterans’ graves at the Marysville Cemetery since 1976, when JoAnn’s brother-in-law, James Gore, passed on. Like Jim Mulligan, both James Gore and his wife Mary served in Korea, although the Gores were in the Navy, while Jim was a machine gunner in the Army. The Gores met in Korea and are buried together at the Marysville Cemetery, where Jim Mulligan’s father, a World War I veteran, is also interred.

“A lot of good friends didn’t come back,” Jim Mulligan said. “No war is fun, but it was a difficult time for everybody.”

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