Local veterans from the American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, and the Marine Corps League, will participate in the ceremony along with The City of Tulsa Pipes and Drums who will perform a musical tribute to honor the British flyers. The Royal Air Force, Royal British Legion, The Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology, and Roger Meyers, Bugles Across America plan to participate in our ceremony this year as well.
This year’s guest of honor is John Raisbeck, the son of one of our very own British Cadets that is interred here at G.A.R. Cemetery, A.C.2 Kenneth Raisbeck. Ken left his home in England weeks before his son was born, and was killed in a training accident just before he was to get his RAF wings.
Immediately following the ceremony, G.A.R. Cemetery will be holding a reception at The Coleman Theatre Beautiful Ballroom where John Raisbeck will be giving a compelling presentation telling his personal story of his father Ken.
John has been on a life long journey to find information of his father and his accident, and just recently with the help of Phillip Blair, The Oswego Museum and Historical Society, Ken’s death certificate has been found, as well as the actual field of the fatal crash site where he lost his life.
His presentation will cover Ken’s life as a young man growing up in his home town in Northern England, his migration south after the effects of the Great Depression of the 1930s and his family life prior to volunteering to join the RAF during WWII. It will also include Ken’s embarkation from the UK to USA, his arrival in Miami, his training program and social life, right up to his ultimate tragic accident south of Oswego Kansas.
John’s intriguing story tells us how he managed to find out such detailed information from old family archives and how he tracked down ex comrades from Miami, Oklahoma British Flying Training School #3 and other local American institutions, in order to learn more about the Father, he never met.
Anyone wishing to learn more about the ceremony can contact the City of Miami G.A.R. Cemetery at (918) 541-2288, or visit www.miamiokla.net.