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Flying the colors, pausing, and reflecting are all part of Memorial Day 2024

GOLETA, Calif. - Memorial Day ceremonies, full of patriotism and heavy hearts, took place throughout the Central Coast with solid, respectful crowds attending.

Some of those who started their holiday at the services were clearly ones who have lived through a war with personal connections, or who have lost a loved one who fought for the freedoms we enjoy today.

The Goleta cemetery ceremony was hosted by Drew Wakefield, who asked those who lost someone close to them to bring a photo and hold it up during the ceremony.

He also said, history needs to be clear so Americans can always remember what sacrifices were made. "What about all the footage that has all been cut that's laying on the  floor because we don't want to show everything because sometimes watching the truth can hurt.  It can lead to dismay,  it can lead to tears in your eyes but what if we removed those redactions just  for a short moment of time,  What if we added back those cuts, even for a short period of time  so that each and everyone of us can understand what the ultimate price really is and how they paid it. "

The ceremony also featured Congressman Salud Carbajal, State Assemblyman Gregg Hart and Goleta City Councilman James Kyriaco.

The Santa Barbara-based event at the Santa Barbara Ceremony was coordinated by the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1649, in honor of the late Pierre Claeyssens, a longtime supporter of those who fought and died for the country. He passed away in 2003.

The event had the Gold Coast Pipe and Drum musicians, the Primetime Band, the Santa Barbara Choral Society, and a multi-pass flyover of the Condor Squadron in vintage planes. This year there was also a special release of white doves during the Star Spangled Banner sung by former Police Sergeant David Gonzales.

A U.S. Marine Brigadier General recalled the inscription you can find  at the graves of the unknown at the Normandy American Cemetery which was established June 8th 1944 in France.

"As you walk through this panorama,  sacrifice, duty, honor  bravery, pain, sorrow.  Your chest tightens and tears  start to flow.   It will make your heart ache for the mothers, fathers,  husbands, wives, sons and daughters who never got to see their loved ones come home," said U.S. Marine Corps Brigadier  General Frederick Lopez.

Marine Corps Veteran Jose Ramirez said, "it makes me feel good because it means that they remember the fallen and they appreciate what they did for the freedom of this country." He served during the Korean and Vietnam wars.

The event also recognized those going into the military through the UC Santa Barbara ROTC program. Amgad Hawari will graduate in June and said, "to put this uniform on is definitely for all the people out here and all the service members present past and the future.  We do it for the  sons and daughters coming up. "

The event instilled a solid reminder of the losses in wars and the size of the turnout, showed a strong patriotism and a message to never forget.

Jane Frederick is a Santa Barbara resident and former U.S. Olympian who said, "it is every important that we can never forget that  there are so many that lost something so that we can gain.  That's what it means to me. I am glad to see it meant that to  more and more people."

The Carpinteria Memorial Day event hosted by the Lions Club and took place at the Carpinteria Cemetery as part of the lineup of morning ceremonies.   

The day also featured a special chili cook off at the Veterans Memorial Building on Cabrillo Blvd. by the American Legion Post #49.

Article Topic Follows: News
Carpinteria Lions Club
memorial day
Pierra Claeyssense Veterans Foundation
Santa Barbara
veteran community
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1649

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John Palminteri

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