Memorial Day Weekend Celebration Of Life Ceremony

(Port Orchard, WA)  One unclaimed, deceased veteran and five other deceased veterans will be honored with words and music at The Unforgotten, Run to Tahoma V celebration of life ceremony on Saturday, May 24, 2014, Memorial Day Weekend, at the Kitsap County Administration Building in Port Orchard. Following the ceremony, the departed veterans will be escorted to Tahoma National Cemetery near Kent, Washington.

The Unforgotten, Run to Tahoma ceremony is sponsored by the Kitsap Board of County Commissioners, the Kitsap County Coroner's Office, the Kitsap County Veterans Advisory Board, and Combat Veterans International.

In the past the ceremony was held at the County Coroner's Office in West Bremerton. Due to the popularity of the event and the lack of parking, the ceremony has been moved to the plaza of the County Administration Building in Port Orchard, which has ample parking nearby.

The Unforgotten, Run to Tahoma only occurs when the County Coroner has the remains of at least one unclaimed, deceased veteran in his care.

This year, that veteran is Walter L. Brown, who served briefly in the US Army during the mid 1950s.

He will be joined by five other veterans submitted by family members or friends:

  • Michael F. Shaughnessy
  • Norman N. Holgate
  • Robert J. Brown
  • Frederick L. Hughes
  • Kenneth D. Hughes

All five are Navy veterans. Three served in Viet Nam, one in Korea. Walter and Robert Brown are not related, however Robert is well-known locally for his role playing of Abraham Lincoln. Frederick and Kenneth Hughes are brothers. Kenneth was also a retired assistant chief of the Bremerton Fire Department.

The ceremony includes 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,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.

Following the ceremony, there will be a short break prior to departure to Tahoma National Cemetery. The departed will be carried 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.

For more information, contact Jim McKenna, Kitsap County’s veteran program coordinator, 360.337.4767 or Leif Bentsen, deceased veteran’s liaison for the Coroner's Office, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

May 16, 2014