Young Marine's ashes laid to rest in new Veterans Memorial Plaza
Veteran's day is a time to remember those who have served. For some like the Schmieman family of Richland, it's also a time to remember the loved ones who died while in service.
Family and friends of Dietrich Schmieman visited Sunset Gardens in Richland on Friday to commit the young Marine's ashes to the new Veterans Memorial Plaza.
Schmieman died in a military plane crash back in July, along with 15 other Marines. He was only 26.
Schmieman was a part of Pastor Corey Smith's youth group. He remembers Schmieman as mischievous, intelligent and respectful.
"That's probably what I remember the most. Even as a little kid, he was always very respectful."
This isn't the first ceremony honoring Schmieman.
Back in August, several hundred people turned out for a celebration of his life, but the committing of his ashes served as a more private ceremony.
In addition, this Saturday will be the first Veteran's Day since the plane crash. For Schmieman's father Eric, the holiday has new meaning after his son's death: "Most veterans who serve do so honorably and leave the military service to lead other lives, but some people don't."
"It gives you a different perspective on all of the other veterans and realize that this could have been any of them. And they were all willing to do this. And so it's going to forever make me look at this day a little differently."
Finally, as his ashes are placed in the memorial plaza, Schmieman’s family a little closure.
Schmieman's ashes have also been spread at Mount Rainier, as well as on the East Coast in spot that his father says he liked to surf.