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Hundreds Gather for Memorial Day Ceremony at Santa Barbara Cemetery

Hundreds of people gathered for a Memorial Day Ceremony at Santa Barbara Cemetery this morning.

The Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation organized the event.

The ceremony highlighted keynote speaker, Vandenberg PAO’s Lieutenant Colonel Ryan J. Novotny. He thanked everyone in attendance, but especially the brave men and women who died for their country.

“It’s just a reminder that we have to be grateful for them regardless of where they served and what they did. They were just incredible people,” said Bryan Harms, served in the Gulf War.

Also in attendance was Arthur Petersen, a 92-year-old World War II veteran. Petersen is the last remaining soldier out of 300 who jumped out of a plane onto Normandy Beach. Petersen credits his life to his wife of 70 years.

“I’m still here because of her. She has gone through hell. You name it, I’ve had it. She’s been by my side every minute, everytime. If I had been alone, I wouldn’t be standing here,” said Arthur Peteresen.

During the ceremony, there were 4 Beechcraft T-34 Mentors were flown over the cemetery.

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