By Marianne Lincoln
PARKLAND, WA — On November 29, 2009, Lakewood lost four police officers at the Forza Coffee shop in Parkland. Tonight, in honor of those officers, Mark Renninger, Greg Richards, Tina Griswold and Ronald Owens, the renamed Blue Steele Coffee Company held a Concert 4 Remembrance.
With Scott Desart singing lovely songs while playing acoustic guitar, the crowd of firefighters, police officers, regulars and a few family members of the fallen officers arrived and settled in with their beverages. The brother of Tina Griswold drove all the way from Port Angeles to attend the event. As the soft music played, he snuggled with his wife on the couch near the Christmas Tree covered in blue and silver ornaments.
In the center of the room, the sister of Greg Richards held and rocked her grandson. Her daughter sipped her coffee at the table with a friend. In the back of the room were policemen from the Kent Police Department, who knew Greg Richards when he began his career as an officer.
Also wandering about the place was the owner of Blue Steele Coffee Company. Earlier in the evening she greeted Doug Richardson, County Councilman and former mayor of Lakewood. He couldn’t stay for the music due to other commitments, but had to stop to pay his respects, then headed over to the police station to pay a visit to the memorial there.
What happened 4 years ago was an ugly tragedy, but this evening was a room full of loving people, respectful remembrance and beautiful music.
On the bench next to the memorial outside, there were four red roses and a note that said, ” Every Washingtonian has something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Thank you. November 29, 2013. Fallen, but not forgotten!”