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Day of honor, pride

Kent Reporter - 11/16/2018

Tahoma National Cemetery honored military members past and present and recognized the centennial of World War I at its 21st annual Veterans Day program on Sunday.

The Stearman WWI vintage biplanes, led by pilot Rich Aldridge, performed a flyover to open the ceremony.

Keynote speaker was Mary Elder, Navy veteran, assistant regional director for external affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Guest speaker Lt. Col. Michael Fawcett, commanding officer, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Detachment of the Royal Canadian Air Force Strategic Command, addressed the crowd, providing an overview of the role Canadian forces has had during wartime. Royal Canadian Air Force Master Cpl. Jason Roswell read the poem, "In Flanders Fields."

Members from the Washington National Guard, Tahoma National Cemetery Support Group and members of the Volunteer Honor Guard participated in the ceremony. The Washington National Guard from Camp Murray provided the Color Guard with a member of the Canadian contingent, Kathy Corrion sang the National Anthem and O' Canada. U.S. Navy Captain (ret.) Chaplain Steve Morrison gave the invocation.

More than 500 people attended, including; Dr. Connie Morantes, deputy chief of staff of VA Puget Sound HCS; and Laura Kaihlanen, Seattle Regional Office director's management analysts. Master of ceremony duties were conducted by Joe LaVoie Chairman of the Tahoma Support Group.

"The story of America's Veterans is etched in time – ordinary men and women who stepped forward to purchase our independence with their service and to help others who felt the oppression of tyranny. Today we remember them all," said Thomas Yokes, Tahoma Cemetery director. "It is our duty – not just on Veterans Day, but everyday – to remember the sacrifices they've made and to make certain that our commitments to them and to their families are honored."

 
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