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Deceased veterans to be escorted to national cemetery on May 24
One unclaimed deceased veteran and five other deceased veterans will be honored with words and music at “The Unforgotten, Run to Tahoma V” celebration ceremony on May 24, during the Memorial Day weekend.
Division Street will be closed for traffic until after the ceremony.
The celebration will start at 10:45 a.m. on the plaza in front of the Kitsap County Administration Building, 619 Division St. Following the ceremony, the departed veterans will be escorted to Tahoma National Cemetery near Kent in a vehicle donated by West Sound Auto Plex.
The Run to Tahoma cortège will be guided by Elite Motor Escort, Inc. under the auspices of Combat Veterans International. Those who join the funeral procession are responsible for their own liability in case of accident or injury.
Attendees are encouraged to dress for the weather and if inclement weather occurs, the event will be held indoors in the Commissioners'' Chambers.
The ceremony is sponsored by the Kitsap County commissioners,Kitsap County coroner’s office, the Kitsap County Veterans Advisory Board, and Combat Veterans International.
The event only occurs when the county coroner has the remains of at least one unclaimed, deceased veteran in his care. This year, the veteran is Walter L. Brown, who served briefly in the U.S. Army during the mid-1950s.
Brown will be joined by five other veterans submitted by family members or friends. They are Michael F. Shaughnessy, Norman N. Holgate, Robert J. Brown, Frederick L. Hughes and Kenneth D. Hughes — all Navy veterans. Three of the five served during the Vietmam War, one in the Korean War.
Walter and Robert Brown are not related, however Robert was well-known locally for his role playing of Abraham Lincoln. Frederick, a retired assistant chief of the Bremerton Fire Department, and Kenneth Hughes are brothers.
The ceremony will include a prelude of classical and popular music played by the Duncan Creek String Quartet. The Marine Security Battalion and Navy IMF personnel from Bangor are providing color and honor guards, respectfully. Specialist James Knickerbocker,of the 133rd US Army National Guard Band, will sing the national anthem and Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah.” Melinda Hughes, daughter of Kenneth Hughes, will sing “Amazing Grace.” “The Salish Anthem” (Chief Dan George Prayer Song) will be sung by Nigel Lawrence of the Suquamish Tribal Council.
Leif Bentsen, deceased veterans liaison, county coroner's office, said earlier this week that the U.S. Coast Guard approved a fly-by of a MH65 Dolphin helicopter for the event.
For more information, contact Jim McKenna, county veteran's program coordinator, 360-337-4767 or Bentsen at Lbentsen@co.kitsap.wa.us.