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Several Memorial Day observances to be held Monday

Post by Christian Hill / The News Tribune on May 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm with No Comments »
May 25, 2012 12:33 pm

There will be numerous Memorial Day observances around the South Sound on Monday to honor those who gave their lives in service to the nation. Here are some of the events that are open to the public:

* Sumner will hold its event at 10 a.m. at the Sumner City Cemetery, 12324 Valley Avenue East in Puyallup. The Rainbow Girls will place a flower on the memorial as the names are read of Sumner veterans. The Sumner City Cemetery began as two cemeteries: the pioneer cemetery began in 1864 and the “town” section began in 1902. Veterans at rest at the cemetery have served in America’s wars from the Civil War to the present.

* The state Capitol in Olympia will hold several observances starting at 10:30 a.m. The Thurston County Veteran Coalition is holding its annual program in the State Capitol Rotunda. The American Legion Band will perform at 10:30 a.m. followed by the ceremony at 11 a.m. A second observance will begin at noon at the Washington State Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Capitol grounds with the arrival of the Olympia Thunder Run (for more information, e-mail  This year marks the 25th anniversary of the dedication of Washington State’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  A dedication of three new flag poles flying the American, state and POW/MIA flags also will be held.

* Joint Base Lewis-McChord will hold its event at 11:30 a.m. at the base cemetery. Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, Lewis-McChord’s deputy commanding general, will be the guest speaker. A wreath will be laid on the post’s marker honoring fallen service members. There will be a 21-gun salute followed by the playing of “Taps.” Visitors who wish to attend the ceremony must obtain a pass from the base’s Visitor Center at Exit 120 on Interstate 5. Signs will direct attendees to the cemetery.

* New Tacoma Cemetery, 9212 Chambers Creek Road W. in University Place, will hold its event at 11:30 a.m. Guest speakers are Bob O’Neal, an Army veteran and bugler at Tahoma National Cemetery, and Jim Sims, a retired Marine and former national commander of The Military Order of the Purple Heart. Clover Park High School’s Junior ROTC will have a marching and rifle maneuvers demonstration, and there will by a 21-gun salute by the Washington National Guard. The 56th annual Masonic Memorial Service will follow at 2 p.m.

* Puyallup will hold its event at 1 p.m. at the Pioneer Park Pavillion, 330 S. Meridian. Cadets from ROTC programs at local high schools will present stories of courage and heroism in a program that includes the traditional presentation of wreaths in memory of the fallen, rifle salute by members of the VFW and American Legion Honor Guard and playing of “Taps.” The Puyallup Valley VFW Post 2224, American Legion Post 67, The Fleet Reserve Association, Branch 104, and the city of Puyallup are sponsoring the program.

* Mountain View Funeral Home and the Pierce County Veterans Advisory Council will hold its event at 2 p.m. at the cemetery, 4100 Steilacoom Blvd. SW in Lakewood. There will be a flyover of C-17 jets from McChord Field and release of doves. Maj. Reynold Muranaka, a Japanese-American who fought in World War II and the Korean War, is the keynote speaker. There will be a special tribute to honor retired Army Gen. John Shalikashvili, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who died in July, and Army Master Sgt. Llwellyn Chilson, one of the most decorated soldiers during World War II who died in 1981.

* DuPont will hold its event at 3 p.m. at Ross Plaza in the heart of DuPont Station, the city’s central business district. During the ceremony, three names of fallen service members who lived in DuPont will be added to the memorial wall. There will be a reception following the ceremony at America’s Credit Union.

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