Thanks to the participation of the US Army Parachute Team, Golden Knights, the Golden Knight Alumni, Skydive Paraclete XP, Raeford, Silk Hope Volunteer Fire Department, and Chatham County Sheriff’s Department, the commemorative event was a beautiful display of community and support. As the Golden Knights’ Tandem Team parachuted Jamie Talavera and Kriston Bertelsen, granddaughters of SSG Jim Rice, and Gena Wasley, daughter of SGT Michael Wasley, the crowd couldn't help but feel a sense of pride and patriotism.
Several other parachute jumps were made into the crash site during the commemoration. Joe Alben of The Children of Fallen Heroes Parachute Team jumped in Fire Chief Mark Gaines of the Silk Hope Volunteer Fire Department. Joe is also a Golden Knight alumnus. Gerald Newlin of the family who owns the farm and crash site was tandem jumped by a current member of the Golden Knights.
Golden Knights Alumna Cheryl Stearns carried the 50th Commemorative Anniversary Flag. Deputy Sheriff Jim Burriss jumped with the Red and Blue Line Flags. Sarah Burriss brought in Old Glory, while 14-year-old Karrisa gave a remarkable performance of the national anthem.
Children of Fallen Heroes, Skydiving Angels and Golden Knight Alumna, Cheryl Stearns
Sarah Burriss, Children of Fallen Heroes, Skydiving Angels