Memorial Day – A time to stop and reflect on the men and women of the military
Taking time to stop and reflect on, as well as pay honor to, all the men and women, who have served and who are currently serving this nation day in and day out 356 days of the year, should be one of the most important moments of anyone’s day – especially on Memorial Day.
Leading off Memorial Day services honoring Veterans on Monday, May 28, will be Maple Valley/Black Diamond Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5052 with their first service beginning at the Maple Valley/Hobart Cemetery (located at 25115 SE 208thSt. in the greater Maple Valley/Hobart area) at 9:30 a.m. – a half hour later than over the past few years. Post 5052 will then move on to the Black Diamond Cemetery (located just off the Maple Valley/Black Diamond Hwy. [SR 169], on the corner of Roberts Dr. and Morgan St.) with the beginning of service remaining at its usual time of 10:30 a.m.
The last service of the day will be held at the (18600 SE 240thSt., Kent) at 1 p.m. Tahoma National Cemetery (TNC) Assistant Director Jennifer Dehorty will give the Welcome Address followed by Director Tom Yokes, who will provide an update of cemetery activities and use.
Once again, the ceremony will begin with a stirring flyover by the Cascade Warbirds. Piloting an AT 28D-10, “Lumpy,” will be Roger Collins, who is a former United Stated Air Force (USAF) fighter pilot. While flying for the Air Force, Collins flew an F-4 Phantom II in Continental Air Defense during the Regan years of the Cold War.
“Lumpy” is an ex-Laotian Royal Air Force North American AT-28-D10 that was pulled from the jungle in Laos in the early ‘80’s. She was shipped thru Australia to the US to be restored by Weaver Aircraft in Carson City Nevada. She also came complete with bullet holes from the time she spent flying from Laotian jungle airstrips by Hmong villagers against the communist Pathet Lao in the CIA’s Operation Water Pump.
Meanwhile, please keep in mind that parking space is limited in TNC. Visitors should plan on walking to and from your parking spot to the ceremony that will be held at the Main Flag Pole Assembly Area. Parking is available for Disabled passengers, and drivers will shuttle people to and from the ceremony assembly area.
And for those wishing to help Veterans and the families on a more personal note, please take a trip to Maple Valley Fred Myer (located at 26520 Maple Valley-Black Diamond Rd SE) where VFW Post 5052 will be gathering donations for their Poppy fundraising effort on Sunday, May 27 from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., and then again on Monday, May 28 from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. All donations will go into their Relief Fund that will go towards helping local Veterans and their families.
Cut line: Pilot for Cascade Warbirds, Roger Collins will be doing a flyover in an AT 28D-10 at the beginning of Memorial Day Ceremonies at Tahoma National Cemetery.