All around the world, many cultures give reverence and respect to those who have died during the month of October. While most people will have family and loved ones gathered around their grave during their funeral, some are not so lucky.
This was not the case for Warren G. Robinson Jr., a veteran who had no family or friends to claim his body after he died. But he was not alone during his memorial. Nearly 1,000 people from all over King County, Pierce County and even some from Bremerton came together to wish Robinson a farewell before his next journey.
Veterans, active-duty military members and families came out on motorcycles, in full military uniform and some with flowers on Monday, Oct. 28, to Tahoma National Cemetery in Covington to make sure Robinson was not alone.
Many local Veterans of Foreign Wars members, American Legion members and other veterans groups came out for Robinson as well. One local group named the Combat Crawlers came with bouquets of flowers. The group consists of veterans who enjoy off-roading in their Jeeps. It’s a fun way to blow off steam and socialize among other veterans, one of the group members said.
“It’s beautiful, its amazing,” one member named Michelle said about the large crowd at the cemetery. “I think its awesome.”
“It’s awe inspiring,” another member named Mark said. “The level of support. You look around and you see all branches here, you see motorcycle groups … unaffiliated groups. It’s just amazing the level of support your brothers and sisters in arms will extend to a fallen brother.”
Robinson was memorialized during a traditional military funeral service. Local military members and veterans volunteered to give Robinson a six-gun salute, followed by a reading of the poem “Freedom is not free” by Kelly Strong during the folding of the flag.
“I heard the sound of Taps one night, when everything was still; I listened to the bugler play, and felt a sudden chill. I wondered just how many times that Taps had meant ‘amen’; When a flag had draped a coffin of a brother or a friend,” the master of ceremony recited.