Roy Cemetery hosts Memorial Day event

JBLM Triple Nickel among groups in attendance


The Roy Historical Cemetery hosted its first Memorial Day event under its new ownership on Saturday, May 25. Seven members of the 555th Engineer Brigade, also known as the Triple Nickel, of the U.S. Army based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord attended and raised the American flag.

Pastor Bill Wagner of New Beginnings Church of Roy said a prayer, followed by a speech from Roy Councilor Harvey Gilchrist, who also placed the wreath for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Pierce County Councilor Amy Cruver read the “Old Glory” poem, and “Taps” was played. The ceremony lasted about 20 minutes, and, according to cemetery owner Beth King, the event — the first she organized — was successful, but she hopes to grow it further in the future.

“There was a lack of funding to be able to provide chairs, and the weather was very dark, but I had compliments about how it wasn’t long or drawn out,” King said. “It was very touching that the people that showed up showed up. I was kind of disappointed in the lack of people, but I’m thinking next year we might do it on the Friday evening before Memorial Day.”

King added that the Triple Nickel group guided her through the order of events. On Friday, May 24, a group of residents from Prestige Senior Living Rosemont took a bus to the Roy Historical Cemetery to place flags and flowers on headstones as well.

King said she is working on transforming the cemetery into a non-profit organization, which would help with renovations around the cemetery grounds, including the entrance, walkways, paving the roads  and upgrading fencing. She added that the cemetery is accepting donations to help with projects.

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