Crowds filled sun-splashed Star Park on Monday morning for the annual Memorial Day service hosted by . People of all ages came to pay their respects to the men and women who have put on the uniform and served their country, some giving their lives for our freedom.
The service was called to order by VFW Post Commander Chuck Lucas and was run with military precision. Retired Sgt. Maj. John Clampitt read aloud , issued by Maj. Gen. John A. Logan in 1868, establishing Memorial Day. Coronado Mayor Casey Tanaka made a proclamation, the “Navy Hymn” was sung and the 23rd Psalm was read aloud.
Guest speaker Maj. Gen. Andrew O’Donnell spoke of the sacrifices made by American servicemen and women, and asked that the World War II veterans in attendance rise, drawing applause from the crowd as several stood proudly. After they sat back down, O’Donnell spoke of the soldiers who didn’t make it back home.
“When most of us think of the national cemetery, we think of Arlington. Tens of thousands of rows of crosses, row upon row,” O’Donnell said. “But there are many, many more national cemeteries in the U.S. But perhaps more importantly, there are 24 American cemeteries overseas, with 125,000 graves—61,000 in France alone—the result of two wars that saved the world from horrors that are unimaginable to Americans today.”
As the ceremony came to a close, flags and flowers were placed at the base of the rock memorial in the center of the park, a rifle salute rang loud overhead and “Taps” was played. Those in attendance, young and old, slowly made their way out of Star Park on a sparkling Memorial Day in Coronado.