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County to honor homeless at memorial ceremony

A special tribute is planned for homeless veterans at Dec. 20 event.


Snohomish County leaders are planning a unique memorial ceremony, one that honors those whose deaths rarely make headlines. Homeless men and women who have died this year in local communities will be remembered at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 20, in front of the county courthouse building at 3000 Rockefeller Ave. in Everett.

The local event is part of the national homeless persons’ memorial day and will include a special tribute to veterans. It is held on or near the coldest day of the year to recognize the conditions homeless people face night after night.

The plight of homeless veterans is something particularly meaningful to Snohomish County Executive John Lovick.

“I’m reminded of the quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt - ‘A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards,’” Lovick said. “It is our responsibility as a community to provide hope and help to our servicemembers.”

Reaching out to the homeless can be challenging, said Jerry Gadek, veterans’ service officer in the county’s veterans’ assistance program. Many people drop out of the system before they can be helped.

This event, organized by the county’s Veterans Homelessness Committee, is one way of saying, “we’re so very sorry you died alone, and as a community, we will do everything we can to stop this from happening anymore,” Gadek said.

Twelve people are expected to be honored this year, including Debbrah Pesce who was riding her bicycle across Highway 2 last December when a truck hit and killed her.

For more information about the event, please contact Jerry Gadek at or 425-388-7367.


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