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Slideshow | Many stories to tell; Valley vet's memorial ready for dedication
There are only six words in the inscription. "The Dubey Family honors Jack Dubey."
But Cristy Lake, assistant director at the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum, knows the whole story behind the words on the brick paver. As clerk for the Snoqualmie Valley Veteran's Memorial, Lake takes orders for the $100 memorial bricks, sales of which fund the memorial project. In the process, she hears or reads the stories that are behind these bricks.
She learned of Jack Dubey's story from his brother, Neil, a Snoqualmie resident. The two men served in the U.S. Merchant Marine together. Neil met his sailor brother by chance on the street twice on the street in the two weeks before he was torpedoed off the Atlantic coast.
According to Lake, in one meeting, Jack asked Neil to go on board ship with him, but Neil turned him down.
"I had been at sea for five months, and had train fare home," Neil wrote in a message to Lake. "By the time I got home, he had been torpedoed the second time. I was lucky, and served a little over four years at sea, and survived by luck."
Neil turned 90 this year and is now in a rest home in Sammamish.
"It's just because he loved his brother," his wife, Donna, explained the brick message. "It was a nice donation."
Time is near
Bricks like those of Neil and Jack Dubey have been sliding into place in the last few days at the Valley Veteran's Memorial. The monument, which has cost $46,000 and taken about four years to fundraise and build, is nearing the moment of completion.
An official dedication is planned for 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11. Congressman Dave Reichert, Washington's 'First Husband' Mike Gregoire, State Rep. Jay Rodne and Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson have been invited to speak. Members of the Snoqualmie Tribe will also bless the occasion. All are invited.
A shy public speaker, Lake made the rounds at city councils recently, drumming up awareness and asking locals to attend the dedication.
"I appreciate all the sacrifices that our veterans have made," she said. "I'm just so honored that I get to be part of helping honor them."
Built beside the American Legion's Renton-Pickering Post at 38625 S.E. River St., Snoqualmie, the project includes a legacy tree, lighted flagpoles, standing stones, a brick plaza, and, eventually, a carved memorial stone capped by a replica of Mount Si. Through its very stones, the project is meant to connect Valley communities and their legacy of service.
Stones from lost towns
Ten stones came from each Valley community—three from the vanished towns of Edgewick, Snoqualmie Falls and Cedar Falls. Those stones came from former residents or those familiar with the lost towns.
Eventually, there will be bricks identifying the standing stones. Right now, you have to guess.
"They're all different shapes and sizes," Lake said.
Representing Snoqualmie Falls, historian Dave Battey pulled one from his old farm. One granite stone, the biggest, was donated by the Snoqualmie Tribe. The city of Snoqualmie's stone once sat in the river. It appears to be conglomerate of other stones, merged into one over time.
"It has cool green colors that shine when it's wet," Lake said.
The irregular stone pieces for the flagpole wall were blasted from beneath Snoqualmie Falls by Puget Sound Energy, and were a challenge to lay. The task of building them into a rock wall would normally be a pricey custom job, but Nolan Daley and other employees of J&S Masonry put in the same effort as a paying job.
"It's part of the heritage," mason Nolan Daley said. "It's nice to do something for the community. We're happy to be here."
The memorial's central monument isn't ready yet. Carvers at Quiring Monuments have donated a smaller stone as a stand-in. That stone looks similar, but will lay flat on the site.
"It's quite close, and quite neat," Lake said.
Memorial boosters have raised about $43,000. Still needed is another $3,000. Lake says it's needed sooner rather than later. The Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum has fronted the money to the project, to be paid back by the memorial committee.
"The museum is covering the it until we get the money," Lake said. "But it's also my budget for the museum."
The best way for people to support the project is through donations and buying memorial bricks. The $100 bricks can memorialize the name and deeds of a friend or family member; those honored don't need to be Valley residents to be included. Any message, including a simple one of patriotism, is welcome.
Major donators to the project include Mr. K's Construction, J&S Masonry, Kunesh Landscaping, A&H septic systems, Bob's Electric, Quantum Consulting Engineers, Miller Hall Partnerships, Big Trees, The Nursery at Mount Si, Lee Nursery and Fred's Flowers. Stone was donated by Puget Sound Energy. Mutual Materials gave a 50 percent discount on bricks. Quiring Monuments donated a second monument.
"It's been nice to see everyone's support of the project," Lake said. "It's a tough economic time right now."
• You can learn more about the memorial project or order a brick at http://www.snoqualmievalleymuseum.org/veterans.html. Or, call Chris Chartier at (425) 888-9152 or by cell at (425) 802-5174.