A memorial for a local air force lieutenant colonel will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday outside of Moscow, 16 years after his passing.
In 2001, Bret Hyde passed away at the age of 42, due to ALS, which stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and is often called Lou Gherig’s disease. He was buried in his hometown, Post Falls, Idaho, where his wife, Susan Hyde, still resides.
Hyde’s two sons are University of Idaho graduates, currently serving on active duty in the air force. They will all be attending the ceremony, and Susan will be giving a speech.
Colonel Greg Cain and former mayor of Moscow Nancy Chaney will also be speaking during the ceremony.
Chaney, who was friends and in a running club with Hyde, initially pitched the idea for the memorial in 2001.
Hyde graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1981 with honors and 11 letters in track and field. He worked in different engineering and logistics roles in the country. He was an assistant professor of aerospace studies at WSU from 1989 to 1993.
Hyde was also a recognized athlete, inducted into the Wallace, Idaho, Hall of Fame, the Idaho Hall of Fame and the Dayton Athletic Association. He competed in the Olympic trials for the steeplechase in 1980, 1984 and 1988, the same year he was named “Air Force Athlete of the Year.”
“I think the entire thing is a testament to the pursuit of Excellence, to Service and to many of the other things that American Airmen are all about,” said Cain, who is also the associate director of facilities and operations of the University of Idaho’s student union center.
In May 2014, the cadets of WSU Detachment 905 raised $1,500 to install a memorial bench on the Latah Trail. Last fall, a plaque was installed on the bench.
The event is open to the public and will take place along the Latah Trail, where the bench was built, Cain said. The date was chosen so Hyde’s wife and sons would be able to attend.
“I am very well aware that this event falls on Saturday of Mom’s Weekend at WSU, so it might be tough for some folks to attend,” Cain said. “Any who can make it, though, will have my deepest gratitude and the gratitude of Bret Hyde’s family as well.”
The address of the event is 3601 Highway 8, Troy, Idaho.
Reporting by Jessica Zhou