More than 250 military and first responder motorcycle riders will gather on Friday morning, Sept. 24, for a procession to escort WWII veteran Lt. George E. Key from San Clemente to his final resting place at the Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego.
Key, an Army veteran who died peacefully at the age of 96 while in his sleep last December, was part of the first wave of soldiers to storm the beaches of Normandy in the June 6, 1944 D-Day Invasion of France.
During his retirement here in San Clemente, Key—the great-great-grandson of Francis Scott Key, author of “The Star-Spangled Banner”—gave talks at schools about the flag’s heritage, and also assisted with organizing annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day observances in town.
The procession will begin from the Lesneski Mortuary in San Clemente at around 8:45 a.m. and travel to the Miramar cemetery, where funeral services are scheduled at 10:30 a.m.
Key’s family is inviting the community to join senior representatives of the military to attend the Miramar service that will feature Full Honors and a WWII Bomber “Missing Man” formation flyover.
“This is a Celebration of Life for my father,” Georgia Smith, Key’s daughter, said in a press release. “Not only was he a courageous soldier, he was a true patriot from the Greatest Generation.”
“He was dedicated to making his community a better place, plus he was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather,” she continued. “We miss him terribly.”
The Miramar National Cemetery is located at 5795 Nobel Drive, San Diego. Those attending are encouraged to arrive early for parking.