Memorial Day is a day that the nation sets aside for the remembrance of those who served this country and made the ultimate sacrifice.
Locally, veteran groups and cemeteries are organizing a number of ceremonies to pay tribute to Merced County’s fallen soldiers. Events will start as early as Sunday and carry on to next weekend.
San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery Memorial Day Ceremony – The San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery’s annual Memorial Day ceremony will take place Sunday at 32053 W. McCabe Road in Santa Nella. The one-hour program starts at 10 a.m. with an invocation by Chaplain Ken Cain. Los Banos High School students will be in charge of the national anthem, and Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, will give the keynote address.
Gold Star Mothers, Blue Star Mothers, Gold Star Wives and Blue Star Wives, women who have lost children and spouses in combat, will also make an appearance. Vintage military vehicles and a flyover are also scheduled for Sunday’s ceremony.
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According to Erin Carnahan, one of the program coordinators, the event is put on a day earlier so that it does not interfere with ceremonies planned throughout the rest of the county.
Merced Memorial Day Ceremony – Memorial Day in Merced will kick off at 9:30 a.m. on Monday with a ceremony at Calvary Cemetery on Highway 59 and Childs Avenue. The American Legion and the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter will continue the services at the veterans 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.
Unlike previous years, the noon ceremony at Courthouse Park will not take place. The Vietnam Veterans of America, who usually put on the afternoon event, were not able to plan it this year, organizers said. The American Legion said it hopes to take over the Courthouse Park ceremony next year.
Memorial Day Ceremony in Winton – The Veterans of Foreign Wars in Winton will hold its annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday at the Winton Cemetery, 7651 Almond Ave.. The ceremony will start at 10 a.m. This year’s guest speakers will include Sheriff Vern Warnke and Supervisor Deidre Kelsey.
The Atwater VFW and the American Legion of Ballico will be responsible for the presentation of the colors. The ceremony will also include the firing of a salute by the Merced County Honor Guard. According to organizers, the event usually gathers about 100 people.
A reception at the Winton VFW post at 7093 Walnut Ave. will follow the ceremony.
Memorial Day Services in Los Banos – Services at Los Banos District Cemetery, 16675 S. Center Ave., will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Monday. The Los Banos VFW post has also started raising flags at a number of elementary schools. On Monday, flags will be posted outside of businesses and residences.
Livingston’s Annual Memorial Day Ceremony – The Livingston-Delhi Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Ladies Auxiliary will have their annual Memorial Day Ceremony on May 30 at Livingston Memorial Park at Main and Park streets.
The ceremony will start at 5 p.m. Refreshments will be served after the ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Building, where veterans are welcomed to speak, according to organizers. The building is at Peach and Seventh Streets.