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Memorial planned for fallen Marine, Mount Si grad Eric Ward

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire is among dignitaries expected to attend a community memorial planned for fallen Marine and Mount Si High School graduate Eric Ward.

Ward’s mother, Monica McNeal, told the Valley Record that U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert will also attend the memorial, planned for 9 a.m. Saturday, March 13, in the high school gym.

Ward, 19, died as a result of hostile action on Sunday, Feb. 21, while serving in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

On Monday, March 1, Gregoire ordered all state flags to be lowered to half staff for one day.

The U.S. flag at Mount Si High School has flown at half-staff for a week. Students also hung a poster in the school honoring Ward, the first local graduate to die in the Afghanistan and middle eastern conflict.

Ward attended Chief Kanim Middle School and was a 2008 graduate of Mount Si. He was described as a handsome, athletic young man who discovered a firm focus after deciding on a military career.

“Our entire learning community was deeply saddened by the news of Eric Ward’s death,” schools spokeswoman Carolyn Malcolm said. “Our hearts go out to his family during this difficult time.”

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