Honor Veterans, Women Who’ve Served & Des Moines Memorial Drive On Nov. 11th


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A special Veteran’s Day Commemoration is coming to the SeaTac Community Center on Wednesday, Nov. 11th to celebrate both the history of Des Moines Memorial Drive as well as honor women who have served their country.

Here are the details:

WHAT: Veteran’s Day Commemoration: Women in Service

WHO:  Scheduled speakers include:

  • Kitty Milne, Highline Historical Society
  • Congressman Adam Smith, 8th District
  • Peggy Caudill, Intertribal Warrior Society (former Nurse in the U.S. Army)
  • Carol Reed, American Legion (former Sergeant in the U.S. Marines)
  • Kit Ledbetter, City of SeaTac

WHEN: Wednesday, November 11th from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: SeaTac Community Center, located at 13735 24th Avenue South SeaTac, WA  98168; (206) 973-4680

INFO: The Des Moines Memorial Drive – The Living Road of Remembrance, is an eight-mile stretch of road through the cities of Des Moines, Burien, SeaTac and the Boulevard Park area of unincorporated King County. The Drive was completed in 1922 with the planting of 1,100 American elm trees, each commemorating an individual from Washington state who died in World War I. On November 11, 1963 a memorial wall commemorating the history of the Drive was dedicated at Sunnydale School in Burien.

ABOUT: The Des Moines Memorial Drive Committee, a citizen advisory committee created in 2000, developed a plan for restoring and enhancing the memorial road. The plan outlines how jurisdictions will implement enhancement efforts as part of future road improvement projects. For more information, visit www.roadofremembrance.org.

From their press release:

Community members are invited on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11, to celebrate a local historic road which honors the fallen soldiers of World War I. In addition to highlighting the history of Des Moines Memorial Drive, the event this year will honor women who served in the military during World War I and over the decades since that conflict. The event will be held at 2:00pm at SeaTac Community Center, located at 13735 – 24th Avenue South, in SeaTac.

Des Moines Memorial Drive is an eight-mile stretch of road which winds through the Boulevard Park area of unincorporated King County, SeaTac, Burien and Des Moines. In 1922 the project was completed with the planting of 1,100 American elm trees to line the roadway as a “living” memorial to those who lost their lives in World War I. Over time, the impacts of disease, radical pruning and utility installations have decimated most of the elms. Forty-six years ago on November 11, 1963, a memorial wall commemorating the history of the Drive was dedicated.

While held on Veterans Day, the event will also mark the day formerly known as Armistice Day, which is the anniversary of the official end of World War I (November 11, 1918). Elected officials including Congressman Adam Smith and local mayors will honor the historical nature of Des Moines Memorial Drive and the special role that women played in the country’s military history.

An Advisory Committee was created in 2000 with representation from King County, local cities, other interested public agencies, and concerned citizens to develop a coordinated vision for restoring and maintaining the living memorial. The resulting plan, which has been accepted by all the participating jurisdictions, outlines how the local cities can also incorporate similar memorial elements in their future road improvement projects along the Drive.

Des Moines Memorial Drive has national significance on several accounts:

  1. It is the earliest planned “living road of remembrance.”
  2. It is the only “living road of remembrance” that uses Elm trees.
  3. At 10 miles, it is the longest “living road of remembrance.

In addition to the celebratory event, interpretive displays prepared by the Highline Historical Society will be available for public viewing. Local veterans and school groups are expected to take part in the event that will also recognize the ongoing cooperative efforts of the cities and county. learn more about Des Moines Memorial Drive, visit www.roadofremembrance.org.

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