Memorial Day ceremonies planned for Merced County

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comMay 22, 2014 

CW Memorial Day in Merced

Bugler Tony Ornelas plays taps during the Memorial Day ceremony held last year at the Merced County District Cemetery.

CHRISTOPHER WINTERFELDT — Merced Sun-Star Buy Photo

  • Memorial Day events around Merced County

    San Joaquin Cemetery Memorial Day Ceremony (Santa Nella)

    The San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery will hold its 2014 Memorial Day Ceremony at 10 a.m. Sunday, a day before the actual holiday, at 32053 W. McCabe Road in Santa Nella. Call (209) 854-1040 for more information.

    Livingston/Delhi Memorial Day Ceremony

    The Livingston/Delhi Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8327 and the Ladies Auxiliary will host their annual Memorial Day Ceremony at 6 p.m. Monday at the Livingston Memorial Park at Park and Main streets. Refreshments will be served following the ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Building at the corner of Seventh and Peach streets. Call (209) 394-2059 for more information.

    Le Grand Memorial Day Ceremony

    The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Monday at Washington and Adams streets in Le Grand. The theme is “History Tells the Story.”

    Los Banos Memorial Day Ceremony

    VFW Post 2487 and American Legion Post 166 will host the ceremony. It will begin 9:30 a.m. Monday at the flag at the Los Banos Cemetery, 16575 S. Center Ave. The presentation will include taps and a musical performance of the national anthem and “God Bless America.”

Memorial Day isn’t just about barbecues, three-day weekends or trips to the beach.

For the loved ones of military personnel who died in combat or of veterans who have died since serving their country, it’s a day to remember and honor all of them.

Although Merced resident Ann Kelley never wore a military uniform, she comes from a long line of family members who served in the armed forces. Kelley’s three brothers served in the Army, her son was in the Navy and her nephew was killed in combat in Afghanistan.

The 72-year-old is president of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 83 and will take part in a number of ceremonies in Merced on Monday, Memorial Day.

“Most of my family goes to some type of service on Memorial Day. If you’ve lost a member of your family in the service, such as I have, it’s a very moving experience for me,” Kelley said. “I go in honor of their memory and all those that have fallen before us.”

Memorial Day in Merced will kick off with a 10 a.m. service in the veteran’s section of the Merced District Cemetery, 1300 B St. The ceremony will include a presentation of the colors as well as the posting of a wreath and folded flag.

Military officer and congressional candidate Mel Levey is scheduled to speak.

At noon, there will be a ceremony by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter at Courthouse Park. The names of fallen soldiers will be read, along with the playing of taps and an Honor Guard presentation.

Following the presentation, the public will be treated to hot dogs at American Legion Merced Post 83, 939 W. Main St.. Another memorial service will take place at 1:30 p.m. in front of the American Legion Hall on Main Street. Miniature flags will be posted in front of the building with the names and pictures of service members, and the names will be read to the public.

Monday will be the first time Terina Davis, 42, will attend a Memorial Day cemetery service. Davis lost her 60-year-old father, who was in the Army, four years ago. Davis’ grandfather, who served in the Navy, died in combat.

Davis served in the Air Force for 16 years and works as a certifying official for Merced College’s Veterans Resource Center. The college has about 300 veterans, she said.

“This is my first time going because I just joined the VFW Merced chapter at the beginning this month,” Davis said. “To me, it’s about remembering our past comrades that were in the service that have fought for our freedom in all the wars.

“I thank the soldiers from the past,” Davis added, “but I also thank the ones of the present and future.”

Sun-Star staff writer Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com.

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