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Whiteman family marks 25th anniversary of solemn ceremony

May 18, 2013

in Local

The 25th annual Memorial Wreath-Laying Ceremony honoring 2nd Lt. George A. Whiteman was held at Memorial Park Cemetery Saturday, May 18 at 11 a.m.

Placing the wreath on Whiteman’s gravesite were Eva Myers, John Rucker and Jim Callis. All three of them attended the very first ceremony 25 years ago.

The Smith-Cotton JROTC presented the colors at the flagpole.

A 21-gun salute was provided by VFW Post 2591.

Guest speaker for the event was Missouri State Senator for District 8 Will Krause, R-Lee’s Summit. Mr. Dave Rouchka served as mater of ceremonies for the event. Rev. Jerry Connery of the Sacred Heart Parish provided the invocation.

The event attracted the largest number of Whiteman family members ever to the ceremony, it was noted. A reception in their honor was held immediately following the ceremony.

The traditional missing-man flyover formation with four T-38 jets from Whiteman Air Force Base was canceled this year due to the  Sequester, a spokesman for the Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee explained. According to the printed program provided at the ceremony, the flyover was “denied by Pentagon Officials in Washington.”

In their place, a WWII vintage aircraft made two passes over Memorial Park Cemetery at 11:30. That flyover was organized by Sedalia Airport Manager John Evans.

Taps was played by Smith-Cotton junior Jacob Douglas to conclude the solemn ceremony, which was sponsored by the Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.

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