A celebration to honor veterans of the armed forces will include music, stories and the presentation of an American flag that once flew over troops in Afghanistan.
Puyallup’s annual Veterans Day program is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday at the Pioneer Park Pavilion.
Tommie Lamb, a south King County resident and four-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, will be the guest speaker. He is the president of the Sam Bruce Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, who fought in World War II. The airmen were the first African-American aviators in the U.S. Armed Forces. The American military was still racially segregated at the time.
Lamb was not a member of the unit, but he knew many who were, including their widows.
“He is funny,” said Jack Taylor, a member of the Puyallup Valley Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2224. “He is just very good.”
The story of the Tuskegee Airmen was told in the movie “Red Tails,” starring Cuba Gooding Jr.
The program also will be filled with music.
“This is a celebration,” Taylor said. “The music is designed to be uplifting and fun.”
The event will feature Puyallup’s Tapestry Singers, songs by the Kalles Junior High School choir and music by the Joint Base Lewis-McChord jazz combo.
In addition, Capt. Daniel Clark will present a flag to the Puyallup VFW post that flew over a Stryker unit in Afghanistan.
In addition, a free exhibit that will feature the art of Chris Hopkins will be on display Sunday and Monday at Gallery 3, located at city hall on South Meridian. The gallery will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday and from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday.
The exhibit will pay tribute to the veterans who served in the armed services. Hopkins is especially noted for his paintings of military scenes. He was the official theme artist for the Operation Desert Storm National Homecoming in 1992 and followed the next year to honor those who served in Vietnam. His work is displayed in the Library of Congress, the White House and NFL properties. He was commissioned by the White House for the portrait of the outgoing Secretary of the Air Force.
Both the Veterans Day celebration and the art exhibit are free and open to the public.
Tom McCrady is a freelance reporter for the Herald.