Memorial Dedication

Tribute to honor airmen


by Senior Airman Crystal Tyler
Public Affairs
Members of the 141st ARW joined together with family and friends of the ESSO 77 crew, and a long list of distinguished guests for a memorial dedication ceremony on October 6. The memorial honors the spirit of all fallen guardsmen from our unit's history.

The ceremony started with a hear-trembling KC-135 flyover, straight down Patriot Boulevard. The music was provided by the 560th Air National Guard Band, included was an Honor Guard flag presentation. The ceremony concluded with a bagpipe tribute by a member of Fairchild Survival School.

The memorial, located on Patriot Circle, includes two monoliths. One is inscribed with the names of Maj. David Fite, Maj. Mathew Laiho, Capt. Kenneth Thiele and Tech Sgt. Richard Visintainer; the crew of flight ESSO 77.

The other monolith is dedicated to all men and women of the Washington Air National Guard who gave their lives in service to the state and nation.

With the backdrop of a soaring F-102 and dignified with three flags; United States, Washington and Air National Guard, the monoliths stand amongst a rock garden, gurgling fountain and benches.

In his speech at the dedication, Col. James Wynne said of the ESSO 77 crash, "Memories of that time will fade, but the realization that service to our state and nation can be risky and sacrificial, will be preserved in these monuments.

Memorial Photo Gallery
Click any picture for a larger view