In the spirit of Memorial Day: Spotlight on Major General Tinker

As Americans, we enjoy an unprecedented level of freedom – freedom gained and maintained at a great price and sacrifice. For many, Memorial Day is the kick-off to summer with BBQs, swimming in one of the great lakes in Oklahoma or taking a fun trip with the family. But please take some time to reflect on the sacrifices of those who paid the ultimate price to preserve our freedom.

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Among these men and women was a certain Major General Clarence Leonard Tinker in whose honor Tinker Air Force Base was named in 1948.

This Air Force base has been been the backbone of Midwest City since the 1940s. It is located just southeast of Oklahoma City and was founded in the 1940s during the Second World War. Originally known as the Midwest Air Depot, it was renamed for Major General Tinker in 1948.

Major General Clarence Leonard Tinker was a career United States Army officer, the highest-ranking Native-American officer and the first to reach that rank. During World War II he was assigned as Commander of the Seventh Air Force in Hawaii to reorganize the air defenses.

He personally flew to lead a force during the Battle of Midway in June 1942; his plane went out of control and was lost in the ocean. He was the first general to be killed in WWII.

The airmen and women at Tinker have served their country with pride and courage in the spirit of Tinker ever since. Today, the base is among the most modern in the United States. Tinker continues to house and conduct units of the U.S. Air Force right up to the present day. The base is also home to the Oklahoma Air Logistics Center, the largest in the nation. Due to the heavy number of personnel and civilians on site Tinker AFB also provides facilities for the convenience of its personnel like the Tinker AFB CDC. Tinker is also one of the largest employers in Oklahoma.

Tinker has grown into one of the most important national centers for the U.S. Air Force today. This is exactly in keeping with the heroic nature of its namesake Major General Clarence L. Tinker. Today, we can all be proud that those who serve at Tinker or other military installations in Oklahoma or across the country are making this country a more secure place.

So as you celebrate the beginning of summer this holiday weekend, don’t forget to salute those who made it all possible.

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Here are some great Oklahoma Memorial Day activities for the entire family:

45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City

The 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City celebrates military history in Oklahoma and beyond with a variety of photographs, artifacts and documents on display, as well as an annual Memorial Day Ceremony that includes the firing of a WWII anti-tank gun and music from the Governor’s 145th Army Band.  One of the museum’s most prized exhibits is the Reaves Firearm Collection, showcasing infantry and cavalry weapons from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War.

Fort Gibson National Cemetery at Fort Gibson

A visit to the Fort Gibson National Cemetery is a thoughtful way to commemorate Memorial Day. Veterans from the Revolutionary War to the Persian Gulf War are buried at this national cemetery site, where a self-guided walking tour provides the ideal opportunity for reflection.

Speaking of Museums… More than 2,000 museums, including the Oklahoma Heritage Museum, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and others across the state, are offering free admission for military members and their families this summer starting just in time for Memorial Day. The Blue Star Museums program allows military members, including National Guard and reservists, and their families to visit museums at no charge through Labor Day.

Memorial Day Celebration at the Chickasaw Cultural Center features cultural demonstrations, stickball and traditional games, gardening and language demonstrations and a family film in the Anoli’ Theater.

Edmond Jazz & Blues Festival at Stephenson Park in Edmond offers live music, vendors, food, drink and entertainment this Saturday and Sunday.

24th Annual Chuck Wagon Gathering & Children’s Cowboy Festival at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is scheduled this Saturday and Sunday and features campfire-cooked foods, children’s educational hands-on activities, western stage entertainment and stagecoach and pony rides.

Happy Memorial Day to all from your team at Home Creations.