Thursday, June 20, 2024

Student and citizen volunteers lend a welcome hand at Locust Grove


BREWSTER – Columbia Post 97 Commander Greg Wagg was concerned that few volunteers would show up at Locust Grove Cemetery last Thursday morning, May 24, for the annual installation of flags in advance of Memorial Day ceremonies on May 27. But among the Brewster and Pateros schools and social media followers, many heeded Wagg’s Facebook call for volunteers, and many responded. 

A bus of Pateros students arrived, and later, driver Ray Sloss and freshman Hector Espino were among those who teamed up to set small white crosses and miniature flags at veterans’ headstones. Brewster School Interim Principal Jake Johanson and Special Education teacher Linda Caswell turned out with Bears student volunteers. 

A team of Brewster seniors placed a cross at the grave of 1966 Brewster graduate John Timothy Lane, who lost his life on May 4, 1968, when he fell on an enemy grenade to save the lives of fellow soldiers. A campaign is underway to elevate Lane’s Distinguished Service Cross to the Congressional Medal of Honor,

It was not long before the 220 large memorial flags lined the drive, and scores of crosses were set in their proper places. 

“I am encouraged by the numbers who showed up,” Wagg said. 

Mike Maltais: 360-333-8483 or


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