Fallen Richland Marine coming home; community invited to join procession
RICHLAND, Wash. -- Fallen Marine Dietrich Schmieman who was one of sixteen marines that died in a plane crash last month is coming home to Richland tomorrow.
Schmieman will be attracting hundreds of people to welcome him home as his remains are finally returned.
“There is just going to be so much love and support,” family friend Ginger Lynch said. “I imagine the energy behind it is just going to be phenomenal.”
A motorcycle group, first responders, and law enforcement will lead the way--escorting Schmieman's remains from the Tri-Cities airport to Einan's Funeral Home Thursday evening.
“As hard as it is--just to be able to celebrate him and support his family--that's just what our community does,” said Corey Smith, Schmieman’s youth pastor.
The procession will cut through the center of Richland right along George Washington Way, so Sergeant Schmieman can take one last ride through his hometown.
Schmieman's family invites the community to bring flags and yellow ribbons to stand along Einan's entrance, lining up to the funeral home by at least 6 pm Thursday.
“It will be a very big statement to the family of community support,” Lynch said.
Folks can also pay their respects by standing along the procession route on George Washington Way or Van Giesen Street.
“Dietrich pulling into Einan's with all those people there to greet him and welcome him home, I think that will be really special for them and something they will always have with them,” Lynch said.
Schmieman's family and the Marine Corps Special Operations team will have time to pay respects, and then anyone is welcome to pay their respects to Schmieman in the chapel.
“We will just have a really powerful welcome home,” Lynch said.
Everyone is also invited to attend Schmieman's memorial service on Saturday, 12 August at 10 am. Governor Jay Inslee has asked all state agent facilities to lower their flags to half-staff on Saturday in Schmieman's honor.
The times of Schmieman's arrival in Richland are still tentative--check back here for possible changes.