Whiteman Corridor Ceremonies
The annual George Whiteman Wreath Laying Ceremony was held this morning (May 16) at Memorial Park Cemetery. This year's ceremony was the beginning of the dedications for the Whiteman Corridor, which is a project the Sedalia Leadership has been working on to honor the legacy of Whiteman.
The wreath laying ceremony featured Brig. General Glen VanHerck of the 509th Bomb Wing, who spoke of Whiteman's sacrifice on December 7, 1941. Whiteman is considered to be the first pilot to die in action during the attack on Pearl Harbor. VanHerck spoke about how Whiteman must have learned his values at an early age from his mother. His mother was quoted as saying “It could have happened anywhere, anytime.”
Those in attendance were invited to the dedication of the Whiteman corridor in the Katy Trail Park, which features a P-40, which Whiteman is known to have flown, and the B-2 Stealth Bomber, which currently is stationed at Whiteman Air Fore Base. The monuments were made with the idea of Terri Ballard, the work of Sedalia Leadership and the sculptures themselves, done by Don Luper.
Angie Thomas, of the Sedalia Chamber of Commerce, Diane Simon from Sedalia Military Affairs thanked all those for their involvement and recognized the living members of George Whiteman in attendance. They also explained that this was done in part in paying tribute the 60th Anniversary of the renaming of Sedalia Army Air Field to Whiteman Air Force Base.
The ceremony ended with a reenactment of George Whiteman's aunt, portrayed by Kathleen Boswell, sharing the story of the Whiteman family.
There is also a marker at his boyhood home that stands 623 West 24th Street.