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Community Raises Funds for Northshore Veterans Memorial

  • Written by Cami Brix
Around this time of year, we are given the opportunity to reflect about what it means to be an American and to give thanks to those who have fought and defended our liberties. From World War II to Afghan War, there are those from our community who have given the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. Local veterans and Bothell High School alumni Jim Morrison and Parl Guthrie hope that the community will honor these heroes by donating towards the installation of the Northshore Veterans Memorial.
 
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Morrison said he first came up with the idea four years ago when he and Guthrie attended their fiftieth high school class reunion. Morrison was inspired by his classmates as they gave their respects to fellow Bothell High graduates, Richard Worthington and Charles Slusser who had lost their lives while fighting in the Vietnam conflict. He and Guthrie said they wished to bring this sense of gratitude to the greater Northshore community.
 
“We are trying to honor our friends,” Morrison said. “In the military there is a saying, that you leave no one behind.  When you go into battle if someone falls you take them out with you...so this is kind of the same sentiment. We don't want to leave anyone behind.  We want to honor the people who did not come home to their families.”
 
Guthrie and Morrison brought this proposal to the NSD School Board for consideration the day Dr. Reid was sworn in as superintendent. Dr. Reid and the NSD administration supported the project and together they have spent almost 2 years collecting and verifying the names of Northshore students who served and died in foreign wars and conflicts.
 
After months of discussions, the committee was able to build a consensus around the design of the memorial and its location in front of Pop Keeney stadium. Guthrie said he wanted the memorial to be “centrally located and accessible to all.” In May 2018, Superintendent Reid signed their proposal.
 
Since the memorial’s approval, Morrison and Guthrie, along with Quartermaster Thom Fermstad, have been working to raise community awareness and funds for the installation of the Northshore Veterans Memorial.
 
Through district records and community outreach, they have collected the names of the 15 veterans who both attended Northshore schools and died in service to their country dating from World War II and up to Afghanistan. One of them was Navy Pilot Lieutenant Patrick Myrick. After graduating from Inglemoor High School and the University of Washington’s Aeronautical Engineering program, Myrick decided to follow the family tradition by going to Officer Candidate School and then Naval flight school where he got his wings by age 30.
 
“[Flying] meant a lot to [Patrick],” his older brother Bryan Myrick said. “Partly because there was such a family heritage of service and it was important to him to carry on that tradition. Patrick was all about serving the country, doing it proudly, understanding that [his service] was doing as much for him as it was for the country and for the family.”
 
Patrick never came home.  On August 10, 2004, his S-3B Viking aircraft crashed on the island of Kita Iwo Jima, Japan during operations from the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.
 
It has been over a decade since Patrick’s passing and Bryan said having his brother included in the Memorial means a lot to his family.
“The Northshore area was his home and to have the recognition of him having served ...is really important,” Bryan said. “To have him included is very special.”
 
To date just over half of the $25,000 fundraising target has been raised. Guthrie said he hopes to dedicate the memorial on Memorial Day, 2019. However, this goal can only be achieved with the continued contributions of the community.
 
Please consider supporting the Memorial by directly donating online at northshorememorial.org. Additionally, attend one of the Dining-for-Northshore Veterans Memorial events: Bothell Chick-fil-A at Monday November 12  and Woodinville Teddy’s Burgers on Wednesday November 14 where a portion of the proceeds will go towards funding the memorial.
 
Cami Brix is a lifelong Woodinville resident and senior at Inglemoor High School.  In addition to assisting in the Northshore Veterans Memorial fundraising campaign, she is a full-IB student, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Nordic News, Founder of Inglemoor Junior State of America chapter, an NSD Youth Equity Group Core leader and a PTSA student advocate.
 

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