The 24th annual Memorial Wreath-Laying Ceremony honoring 2nd Lt. George A. Whiteman was held Saturday morning, May 19 at Memorial Park Cemetery in Sedalia. Guest speaker for the solemn event was 40&8 Commander Tony Gallagher, accompanied by his wife Jean, who held his speech notes down while he spoke during the breezy ceremony.
The ceremony was attended by members of the George Whiteman family, Whiteman Air Force Base personnel and local dignitaries. Whiteman AFB is named after the famous Sedalian. He died on Dec. 7, 1941 at the age of 22. And this year, two seats were reserved for George’s last two surviving siblings, died last October within a week of each other. Members of the S-C JROTC Color Guard posted the colors, which flew at half staff during the ceremony.
As part of the ceremony, a team of four T-38 jets from Whiteman (Flight leader Major Matt Whitney and the 394th Combat Training Squadron) flew over Memorial Park during the folding of the Stars and Stripes by members of VFW Post 2591, who also provided a 21-gun salute.
Rev. Father Mark Miller of the Sedalia Sacred Heart Parish, provided the invocation, while Airman First Class Ashley Christenson sang the National Anthem for the event.
The event, coordinated and emceed by Dave Rouchka, and sponsored by the Military Affairs Committee of the Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce, concluded with the playing of Taps. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.