Prairie High students memorialize fallen soldiers

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Brush Prairie — Three Prairie High School teens unveiled a school memorial this month that they created to honor the sacrifices of former students who died while serving in the Middle East. Prairie senior Casey McNicholas led efforts to create the memorial with help from peers Samantha Willson and Brett Udy, according to Battle Ground Public Schools. The display was dedicated June 13 outside the school's main office and includes photos and details about the fallen soldiers: Marine Lance Cpl. Cedric Bruns, who died in 2003 in Kuwait; Marine Lance Cpl. Kane Funke, who died in 2004 in the al-Anbar Province of Iraq; and Army Cpl. Jeremiah Johnson, who died in 2007 in Baghdad. Parents of Bruns and Johnson, both former Prairie High students, attended the dedication. Funke went to Evergreen High School but regularly took Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps classes at Prairie. McNicholas and Willson are also Junior ROTC cadets. “I don’t want the sacrifices made by our troops to ever be forgotten,” McNicholas said in an email. “I also wanted to remind the students of Prairie High School that heroes walked the same halls, used the same books and had the same teachers as they do now.”