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L&I ceremony April 26 to mark Worker Memorial Day

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April 19, 2012

Honoring fallen workers April 26

TUMWATER – A young construction worker, a veteran firefighter, a grandmother working a sales job – these are among the 69 people who will be honored this year at the 2012 Worker Memorial Day ceremony April 26.

The parents, spouses, children and other relatives of those who died from a job-related illness or injury last year have all been invited to the Department of Labor & Industries’ (L&I) annual Worker Memorial Day ceremony.

The 69 workers to be honored include the very young, such as the 18-year-old construction worker, to seniors in the workforce, like the 84-year-old storage manager murdered at work. Some worked in jobs considered hazardous, like logging, construction and fishing, and others were in less hazardous professions, such as retail management, dry cleaning, or research.

“A workplace death can happen anywhere and, when it does, the lives of those close to the person who died are changed forever,” said L&I Director Judy Schurke. “Worker Memorial Day is our chance to honor those who died on the job or from illnesses that resulted from their work, and let their friends and families know that they will not be forgotten.”

The ceremony begins at 2 p.m. at L&I’s central building in Tumwater, 7273 Linderson Way S.W. The agency has hosted a ceremony for Worker Memorial Day for 19 years.

Speakers will include representatives from Gov. Chris Gregoire’s office, the Association of Washington Business, the Washington State Labor Council, and the Washington Self-Insurers Association.

While the relatives of all the workers who died in 2011 have been invited, the observance is also open to their friends, colleagues, and the general public.

The ceremony includes a reading of the names of the workers who died, accompanied by bell ringers from the Tumwater Fire Department. After the ceremony, the families are invited to ring the brass bell in the Worker Memorial garden on the grounds of the L&I building.

A book in the lobby of L&I’s Tumwater building contains the names of all the fallen workers. For a complete list of those being honored, visit


For media information: Hector Castro, L&I, 360-902-6043.

Broadcast version:

The Department of Labor and Industries will host its annual Worker Memorial Day ceremony on Thursday, April 26, at the agency’s building in Tumwater, south of Olympia. The service will honor the 69 Washington State residents who died in 2011 due to work-related accidents or illnesses. The service begins at 2 p.m. and includes a formal reading of the names of the fallen workers. Several relatives and friends of the deceased are expected to attend. More information can be found at Worker Memorial Day dot LNI dot wa dot gov.

Television news media:

For television news media, B-roll footage used to create the 45-second video in this news release is available at L&I’s YouTube page.

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