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Bennedsen honored in Hawaii, on Vashon

Susan Lofland (front) places a flower on Robert Bennedsen’s grave at the Vashon Cemetery. Behind her are Lisa Devereau, Chris Gaynor, Olde John Croan and Mike Mattingly.  - Natalie Martin/Staff Photo
Susan Lofland (front) places a flower on Robert Bennedsen’s grave at the Vashon Cemetery. Behind her are Lisa Devereau, Chris Gaynor, Olde John Croan and Mike Mattingly.
— image credit: Natalie Martin/Staff Photo

Last week a group of islanders gathered at the grave of First Lt. Robert Bennedsen at the same time the soldier was honored in Hawaii.

On Thursday afternoon, Bennedsen’s remaining ashes were interred at the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery in North Kona. His parents, Scott and Tracy Bennedsen, now live in Kona and Bennedsen had hoped to live there one day as well. Local veterans in Kona, with his family’s blessing, organized a silent honor guard when his ashes were buried.

At the Vashon Cemetery, some who knew Bennedsen, as well as representatives of local veterans groups, told a few stories about Bennedsen and laid flowers on his grave.

“Be keeping his memory alive, it forces us to remember all those others,” said Lisa Devereau, who manages Island Funeral Service.

Bennedsen, who grew up on Vashon and graduated from Vashon High School, was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010. This month a ball field at the new VES Fields will be named in honor of him as well; a dedication ceremony is scheduled for April 26.

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