Memorial Day ceremonies held around the Bay Area

Ceremonies were held around the Bay Area including San Bruno, Walnut Creek and San Jose to commemorate fallen veterans

ByAmanda del Castillo, Dustin Dorsey, and Leslie Brinkley KGO logo
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Memorial Day observance held at Bay Area cemetery
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A ceremony was held at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno to commemorate fallen veterans this Memorial Day.

SAN BRUNO, Calif. (KGO) -- Ceremonies were held around the Bay Area including San Bruno, Walnut Creek and San Jose to commemorate fallen veterans this Memorial Day.

Much like at the Golden Gate National Cemetery, most of the 155 national cemeteries called on volunteers -- relying on them to help place flags around headstones.

MORE: Biden marks Memorial Day lauding generations of fallen US troops who 'dared all and gave all'

In addition, many Monday also held wreath-laying ceremonies.

At the Golden Gate National Cemetery, the San Bruno Police Department performed the presentation of colors.

American Legion Post 105 led a gun salute with a complete flyover by the U.S. Coast Guard's Air Station San Francisco.

The event was sponsored by the Avenue of Flags committee.

Every detail was meant to honor the service members who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

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Immediately after the ceremony, there was a luncheon at the American Legion Hall on San Mateo Avenue.

ABC7 News was told the money raised there will benefit the American Legion Auxiliary and the Avenue of Flags Committee.

The National Cemetery Administration says all national cemeteries will be open from dawn to dusk for Memorial Day.

MORE: Senior Airman killed in Afghanistan in 2008, remembered at Lafayette Memorial Day ceremony

Korean War Veterans honored in Walnut Creek on Memorial Day

Memorial Day was solemnly recognized in Walnut Creek on Monday at a whitewashed gazebo in the downtown Civic Park with all of the military pageantry and recognition of veterans you would expect.

"I know people that did die and it gives you time to think and remember. I understand it's a holiday. I think people in the back of their minds I would hope are all thinking of this, thinking of people who were lost," said Army veteran Randy Becker.

Three-hundred people showed up looking setting to memorialize those who served.

Korean War veterans were singled out as the US approaches the 70th anniversary of the end of the war.

There was one 93 year old in the front row.

"When we think back over our families, the uncles and fathers, especially those killed, we pause for moment in our busy lives and think please God not again," Korean War veteran Richard McLean said.

To wrap up Memorial Day in Walnut Creek at sundown the beacon, the light atop Mt Diablo will be illuminated.

Bay Area Marine Corps. Veteran shares powerful story of Memorial Day significance at Oak Hill remembrance ceremony in San Jose

At one of the Bay Area's largest remembrance events, a ceremonial wreath honored fallen soldiers from each war in which the United States has fought. It was part of a powerful ceremony at Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose.

One of the honored heroes was Bay Area native Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 3 AJ Pasciuti. He enlisted after 9/11 and served in Iraq.

Pasciuti spoke of his best friend, fellow sniper Matt Ingham, who lost his life in battle. Pasciuti said he listened to the radio call of the last words his best friend ever said, calling in an airstrike to make sure his remaining teammates could make it.

In this dark time, Pasciuti opened a letter written by a high school student, sent to his troop - not specifically addressed to any soldier. Of all the letters, all the students and all the soldiers, the letter was from a young girl who attended Pasciuti's alma mater writing to thank the soldier from the Bay Area who had just lost his best friend in battle.

"I realized at that moment, that this is exactly what Memorial Day is about," Pasciuti said. "The opportunity to honor those who have served, those who have lived with us and who have given everything for us. When I look into the crowd, I understand why it is that men and women, like Matt, give their lives. It's because of young women like Angela, it's because of high schoolers, it's because of crowds like the one today. Because we love this republic. We love this country with all of our heart and we're willing to do anything to be able to preserve this American way of life."

And on this Memorial Day, we say thank you.

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