Memorial Day 2014

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Sonoma’s 56th Memorial Day observance will be held on Monday, May 26. Events begin at 11 a.m. with a grand march of the flags of all services into the Veterans Cemetery on First Street West.

The guest speaker will be Gen. Joseph P. Hoar, USMC (ret). Hoar retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after 37 years of service. During his last three years of active service, Hoar was the Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command – the unified command that has the planning and operational responsibilities for 19 countries of the Middle East, South Asia and the Horn of Africa.

Sonoma City Councilmember Laurie Gallian together with her son, Marine Reserve Lance Cpl. Shane Dalton, will make a special presentation.

The master of ceremonies will be retired Marine Corps Reserve Col. William E. Peacock. A Vietnam veteran, Peacock also served in a civilian capacity as the assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. A frequent visitor to the Sonoma Valley, Peacock is the chairman for the Wine Country Marines, a local patriotic nonprofit organization which sponsors the Wine Country Marine Corps Birthday Ball each November in Sonoma.

The chaplain will be the Rev. Peadar A. Dalton, who will give the invocation and benediction. The members of Temple Lodge No. 14 of Free and Accepted Masons in Sonoma will be the ushers. The pledge of allegiance will be jointly lead by Ben and Curtis Preston from Hanna Boys Center.

Special proclamations will be given by James S. Beatty, the president of the Sons of the American Revolution Redwood Empire Chapter, and Mayor Tom Rouse.

The ceremony includes color guard and military salute, patriotic music and an aerial fly-over by the Sonoma Sky Park Aviators. Following the ceremony, the Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley will serve its “All-American Picnic” at the Veterans Building, which is complimentary to veterans and their families and friends.

In keeping with a tradition that began 10 years ago, all veterans are invited to wear their military uniforms (or appropriate attire) and participate in the grand march at the opening of the ceremony (muster at 10:30 a.m.).

Photo by Scott Knight


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