George Rossman, former Enumclaw mayor who saw duty during the Korean War, will serve as keynote speaker during the annual Veterans Day program at Tahoma National Cemetery.
This year marks the 20th such program at the national cemetery and this year is emphasizing the service of Korean War veterans.
The program will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at the cemetery’s main “flag pole” assembly area. The ceremony starts with a flyover by the Historic Flight Foundation and will include the Canadian Royal Forces Detachment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Rossman, 84, was born to a large family in Rapid City, South Dakota. He came west in 1939 when his father found work at the Bremerton Naval Shipyards and the family moved to Enumclaw in 1943.
Following graduation from high school, he enrolled at the University of Idaho, but was soon drafted into the U.S. Army. He received infantry basic training at Fort Ord, California, and was sent to Japan for specialized training. In December 1952, he landed at Inchon, South Korea, and was assigned to the 21st AAA Battalion, 25th Infantry Division where he was a crew member on a halftrack.
Military service was a family tradition, as Rossman followed in the footsteps of five older brothers who had served during World War II.
Following his military discharge, Rossman started a business, retiring in 1998 after 35 years as an insurance broker.
In Enumclaw, Rossman served a variety of roles, finally elected to the City Council before serving two terms as mayor. One of the highlights of his time in office was construction of Veterans Memorial Park and Purple Heart Memorial, done in conjunction with Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1949. The memorial honors all service members from the Enumclaw area who gave their lives during U.S. wars.
Rossman, a life member of VFW Post 1949 since 1956, continues to live in Enumclaw with his wife of 61 years, Marleen.