Several events are planned throughout the Yuba-Sutter area this holiday weekend that provide local residents a chance to honor active duty military and veterans for Memorial Day.
Part of an annual tradition, local Veterans of Foreign Wars organizations and American Legion posts are planning to place crosses and flags on veteran grave sites this weekend ahead of the holiday on Monday.
Dave Baker, commander of the American Legion Post 807 (Linda) said the group is planning to place about 1,000 flags and crosses at veteran graves at the Sierra View Mortuary and Memorial Park – 4900 Olive Ave., Olivehurst – today (Saturday) starting at 8 a.m. The group is in need of volunteers to help.
“This is something we do every year,” Baker said. “We are looking for whoever we can get to help place flags and crosses, all they need to do is show up at 8 a.m. and be willing to help. We do this for all the veterans and soldiers who have died. We are honoring their service.”
VFW Post 948 (Marysville) plans to place crosses and flags at veteran graves at the historic Marysville Cemetery on Sunday starting at 10 a.m. On Monday, the local VFW post will hold a Memorial Day ceremony at 9 a.m., which will include speakers, a rifle salute, the playing of “Taps,” and the raising of the American flag.
“(Memorial Day) is about paying respect to the people who paid the supreme sacrifice for the freedoms we have today,” said VFW Post 948 Senior Vice Commander Brock Bowen.
Beale AFB flyovers
Beale Air Force Base is planning four flyovers at Memorial Day ceremonies throughout the north state, including Sacramento Valley National Cemetery (Dixon – 9 a.m.), St. Patricks Cemetery (Grass Valley – 9:30 a.m.), Gridley-Biggs Cemetery (Gridley – 11 a.m.) and Calvary Christian Center (Yuba City – 3 p.m.).
“The Memorial Day flyovers are a chance for us to honor those who have died in service to our country and support our local communities who are holding ceremonies in remembrance,” said Kathryn Miller, chief of media operations for Beale AFB. “There will be a 2-ship of T-38s performing four flyovers throughout the Sacramento area.”
Miller said the groundtracks for each flyover will pass over the center of the towns where ceremonies are being held. Pilots participating in the flyovers include Capt. Clay “Havoc” Higginson and 1st Lt. Kyle “Skar” Carver — both are T-38 instructor pilots at Beale AFB.
“We are humbled to have the chance to participate in these memorials,” Higginson said. “It’s a great opportunity to show our support for the community and reverence for service members who came before us and gave their lives for our country.”
‘A Grateful Nation Remembers’
Calvary Christian Center opened its outdoor memorial — the Freedom’s Heroes Memorial — last week, which allows attendees to view 21 panels engraved with the names of 7,000 soldiers who have died since 2001 in the Global War on Terrorism. The memorial is open daily through Memorial Day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
On Sunday at 10 a.m., the church will hold an indoor ceremony as part of “A Grateful Nation Remembers,” which is an annual event the church has put on for nearly three decades. The ceremony includes a six-panel replica of the Vietnam Wall; a full-scale replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; dramatic war reenactments and keynote speaker Lt. Col. Damon Friedman, among other things.
A second indoor ceremony is planned for Memorial Day starting at noon. The ceremony will be the same as Sunday’s, though the keynote speaker will be Dave Roever.
“Remembering our fallen heroes, that’s what Memorial Day is about, those who have given their all for our freedom,” said Pastor Michael Ciociola. “…I think it’s important for the community to take time on Memorial Day weekend to gather together to honor and celebrate the people who pay for our liberty. Take a little time to join forces to do that. This is a public event for that purpose. Everyone can come no matter their background, and I think you’ll be impressed by the patriotism on display here.”
Calvary Christian Center is located at 2620 Colusa Highway, Yuba City.
Museum of the Forgotten Warriors
The Museum of the Forgotten Warriors will be open to the public on Saturday and Monday in honor of Memorial Day.
Don Schrader, curator for the museum, said they plan to hold a flag ceremony on Saturday at 9 a.m. On Monday, the museum will reopen to the public starting at 9 a.m.
“Memorial Day is about those people who gave the ultimate sacrifice and didn’t come back,” Schrader said. “It’s important to remember that we are here because they gave that sacrifice.”
The Museum of the Forgotten Warriors is located at 5865 A Road, Marysville.