Tahoma National Cemetery conducted its twentieth annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Saturday, November 11 at 11 AM. The 2017 theme, “Saluting Our Korean War Veterans,” included emphasis as well on the close military relationship that has existed historically between the United States and Canada.
Tahoma National Cemetery Assistant Director Jennifer Dehorty delivered the Welcome Address. Members of the Canadian Royal Forces Detachment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord participated in the ceremony with commander LTCOL Matthew Wappler addressing the large attending audience on Canadian operations in the Korean War and other wars, concluding with a reading of the poem “In Flanders Fields.”
In addition, Director Thomas Yokes recounted the twenty-year history of Washington State’s only national cemetery and plans for its future expansion. Joe LaVoie, Chairman of the Tahoma National Cemetery Support Group, served as the Master of Ceremonies.
Soloist Jennifer Lauer sang the national anthems of the United States and Canada. Conducted by Jack Pringle, the Gateway Concert Band played a selection of patriotic songs while the Tahoma National Cemetery Bugler Corps, headed by Chief Bugler Bernie Moskowitz, sounded Call to the Colors, Last Post, and Triple Echo Taps. Members of the Washington National Guard and the Canadian Detachment performed the Presentation of the Colors and Boy Scouts troops from Kent distributed programs and led audience members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Chaplain Daniel Shaw, LCDR USNR, gave the Invocation and the Benediction.
Those observing the ceremony ranged from a Second World War B-29 Superfortress crewmember to infants held in the arms of their active duty mothers and fathers. Submitted by Cary Collins.