San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery preps for Memorial Day

The Department of Veterans Affairs said Memorial Day services will be held at the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery on May 30, beginning at 11 a.m.

This year's theme honors the Buffalo Soldiers, the nation's first black professional soldiers in a peacetime army. They were recruited into six all-black units in 1866, drawing from former slaves and Civil War veterans.

The guest speaker will be retired Maj. Gen. Paul Monroe, former adjutant general of the California National Guard. He is from Los Banos.

The California National Guard will provide the three-rifle volley and playing of taps. The program is expected to last one hour.

The cemetery is at 32053 W. McCabe Road, Santa Nella.