EWU Observes Memorial Day With Annual Exhibit

A display at the JFK Library alcove, jointly created by EWU’s Veterans Resource Center, the university’s  ROTC program and the library, will honor and remember university-affiliated service members who lost their lives defending our nation. The display is scheduled to run through Thursday, June 2. 

A display at JFK includes a charcoal drawing depicting what soldiers in Vietnam did to honor their fallen comrades, and a painting created by Allene Osborn, an Air Force veteran who earned a master’s in social work from Eastern in 2017.

The memorial exhibition will remind visitors why we have Memorial Day, says Dave Millet, a U.S. Army veteran of 25 years and founding director of EWU’s Veterans Resource Center. 

“Memorial day isn’t just about having the day off and grilling burgers and hot dogs,” says Millet. “It’s important for the students in the Spokane community to know that.”

The holiday is different from Veteran’s day, Millet continues. Instead, it’s a day of remembrance for all the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines we have lost. That is why the display resides in a quiet area of the library, a place where anyone can stop by and reflect on the sacrifices of our Eastern heroes. 

Visitors to the alcove will see paintings, photos, statues and a Viet Cong flag that was brought back from the Vietnam War. Additional artifacts include a piece of rubble from the Pentagon on 9/11 and a fragment of the Berlin Wall.

The display specifically honors EWU ROTC students and graduates who died during the Vietnam war. They are listed below with links to their pages on The Wall of Faces. The online wall pays tribute to the 58,318 men and women who died while serving in Vietnam, or are listed as missing in action, and are included in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Randy V. Turner 

Richard H. Walker 

William P. Wall III

Owen T. McCandlas

Timothy G. Burchett 

Ronald G. Wolfe

Randall N. Arney

Victor M. Hodson 

Richard D. Ator 

Bruce A. Grandstaff 

Bob L. Gregory

The Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane is named after Bruce A. Grandstaff, a platoon sergeant who had worked at Eastern, and Joe E. Mann of Reardan, Washington, who served during World War II. The men were awarded the Medal of Honor for valor in combat, the highest award a soldier can receive. 

Another Eastern ROTC graduate who is recognized in the JFK display is Keigan J. Baker. Baker passed away during Air Force training in 2020. 

JFK library will be closed on Monday, but there will be multiple events observing Memorial Day throughout Spokane county:

The American Legion Post 72 will be holding their annual Memorial Day Observance in Cheney at 10 a.m. in Veterans Memorial Park, with guest speaker, Mayor Chris Grover.

The city of Spokane will be holding a Flag Cruise and Pancake Breakfast in Spokane at Riverside Memorial Park and Fairmount Memorial Park from 10-11 a.m. Admission is $3 per person and free for veterans.

The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs will be holding their Memorial Day Ceremony at the State Veterans Cemetery in Medical lake at 11 a.m. The ceremony will be accompanied by a musical prelude from the Lilac City community band. 

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