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Memorial Day Observances

May 02, 2017 05:50AM ● By Elena Hutslar

Memorial Day Observances

Local Memorial Day observances will take place on Monday, May 29, to honor and preserve the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in all wars and conflicts in service of our nation.


The Martinez Memorial Day commemoration will begin at 9am at Alhambra Cemetery on Carquinez Scenic Drive. There will be a benediction, placing of the wreath and Sea Cadets posting colors. The ceremonies will resume at Ignacio Plaza (525 Henrietta Street) at 10am with messages from Mayor Rob Schroder and public officials, a keynote speaker, patriotic music, and benediction from Pastor Jim. The ceremonies will conclude with the 21-gun salute by members of American Legion Post 29 and VFW Post 1351.

After the ceremony, American Legion Post 29 will host brunch at the Veterans Memorial Building, 930 Ward Street. The 30-piece Mount Diablo Regional Concert Band will play during the meal. The community is encouraged to attend this, and all American Legion activities.

Pleasant Hill

Local veterans groups will be hosting a Memorial Day event at the Contra Costa County Veterans Monument at the corner of Contra Costa Boulevard and Boyd Road at 1pm. The keynote speaker will be Nathan Johnson, Manager of the Contra Costa Veterans Services Office along with other prominent elected officials. All are welcome to attend.

Walnut Creek

The City of Walnut Creek's Memorial Day observance will pay tribute to American GIs from the Civil War to present day with a unique program featuring live music and dramatic readings. The free event begins at 10am Monday, May 29, at Civic Park, and concludes with the laying of wreaths at the Veterans Memorial Plaza. The Walnut Creek Concert Band, under the direction of Harvey Benstein, will perform.

Memorial Day Ceremony at the National Cemetery

Honoring Veterans from the Bay Area and Beyond

More than 2,500 people will come to San Francisco’s Presidio and National Cemetery on Monday, May 29, to honor the memory of the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving their country.


This year's parade starts at 10:30am at the Presidio Officers' Club, 50 Moraga Avenue at Arguello, and ends at the National Cemetery at 1 Lincoln Boulevard at Sheridan. Every year, it starts with the 191st Army Band followed by veterans organizations and distinguished guests. The parade lasts about 30 minutes.

Formal Program

After the parade, at approximately 11am, the formal program begins and features several speakers including both local politicians and veterans.

21-Gun Salute

The official program ends at noon with the 21-Gun Salute. This is conducted by the U.S. Army's 75th Pacific Division.

Presidio Chapel

The Presidio Chapel, up the hill from the National Cemetery, is open for prayer and meditation from 12:30pm to 2:30pm. The chapel holds quite a bit of history and is only open for a few hours each week. If you see an attendant, make sure to ask if you can step into the lobby to take a look at the colorful mural behind the front desk. It's one of SF's masterpieces and is not open for visitors very often.


Following the program, the National Park Service will offer half-hour tours of the National Cemetery, and the Presidio Chapel will be open for prayer & meditation from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm.

National Cemetery in the Presidio is a designated National Historic Landmark, dating from the 1846 war with Mexico. More than 35,000 veterans and their dependents are buried there. It has long been a tradition for the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to decorate each grave in the cemetery with an American flag for Memorial Day.


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