Don’t forget: Check the weather before you go.
Memorial Day: A Day of Honor & Remembrance
San Francisco Presidio
San Francisco, CA
http://www.presidio.govThe Presidio’s annual Memorial Day commemoration includes a parade of the 191st Army Band, veterans’ organizations and distinguished guests. It starts at 10:30 am at the Main Post (near Sheridan and Lincoln Blvd.), and ends at the San Francisco National Cemetery. The formal program begins at 11 am and includes music and remarks by military and civilian dignitaries. This year’s ceremony will pay tribute to World War II and Korean War Veterans. At noon, a 21-gun salute by the U.S. Army’s 75th Pacific Division signals the end of the program. Tours of the National Cemetery will follow.
United Veterans Council of Santa Clara County Memorial Day Celebration
Oak Hill Memorial Park
300 Curtner Avenue
San Jose, CA
11:00amEach year, on the Monday designated by the Government as Memorial Day, the UVC conducts a public ceremony at Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose, California. Local Boy and Girl Scouts place 3,600 American flags at the headstones of veterans of all wars in six burial plots: the Veteran’s Plot, Field of Honor Plot, Spanish American War Plot, two Civil War Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Plots and Women’s Relief Corps GAR Auxiliary Plot. The UVC Memorial Day Ceremony is held at the Veteran’s Plot at 11 am and includes the posting of military and veteran organization colors, placing of wreaths, a rifle salute and playing of Taps.
Alameda Veterans Memorial Park
Alameda, CA 94502
Admiral Schultz of the Coast Guard will speak at Alameda Veterans Memorial Park. KCBS’s Stan Bunger will perform as master of ceremonies and Starbucks will donate coffee to pair with the provided doughnuts. The Mike Wirgler all-city band performs live and an historic helicopter sometimes flies in, once used in unarmed service such as medi-vac. Sea scouts, disabled veterans, Vietnam veterans, ROTC, the police and fire departments will attend this one-hour event. Come on out for this patriotic holiday and celebrate with our county’s heroes.
USS Hornet Aircraft Carrier
USS Hornet Museum
707 W. Hornet Ave.
Alameda, CA 94501
The USS Hornet is docked peacefully in Alameda. It served in World War II and the Apollo 11 manned space mission. Visitors can spend a night on-board, take flashlight and after-hours tours, check out Apollo artifacts and view the flight deck, navigation bridge, an aircraft propeller, jet and helicopter. Ride the Disney-esque flight simulator, a moving theater that gives you the feeling of being on-board the aircraft as a passenger in flight.
Mountain View Cemetery
5000 Piedmont Ave.
Oakland, CA 94611
Head to the Mountain View Cemetery on Memorial Day for a special Civil War plot tour led by Dennis Evanosky. Evanosky emphasizes the role of Californians in the Civil War. Many northern soldiers lay at rest in Mountain View, surrounded by Civil War canons and canon balls. This monumental and historic cemetery hosts many fascinating and engaging tours full of Californian and American history. Make a trip out on Memorial Day to pay homage to those brave souls no longer with us.
110th Memorial Day celebration at Lone Tree Cemetery
24591 Fairview Ave.
Hayward, CA 94945
Meet the grand-daddy of all Memorial Day celebrations in the Bay Area. Major General Gary Voellger serves as keynote speaker while various veterans’ groups attend along with local Scout troops and Sea Cadets. The Hayward Municipal Band performs and there will be a helicopter flyover with a MASH Bell 47. Check out the classic cars, the County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad Vehicle and the local Hayward Firefighters display. The Hayward Area Parks tram shuttles guests around the park and gardens during the program. Lone Tree hosts a free barbecue of hamburgers and hotdogs following the ceremony. Everyone is invited to join in the honoring our local veterans and enjoy the program and picnic. Anticipated attendance is over 1,500 people.
Vietnam Veterans of Diablo Valley
Oak Hill Park
3005 Stone Valley Road
Danville, CA 94526
10:30 a.m. service
The Vietnam Veterans of Diablo Valley hold an annual commemorative service on Memorial Day. There is usually a guest speaker and F-16 jet fly-overs. Barbecue and other foods will be available for purchase. Danville is a pastoral town with a relaxed western style and cute family bistros and boutiques. The tree-lined Iron Horse bike path fills with pedestrians, bicyclists and even horseback riders on weekends. Make a whole day out of it.
Cindy Warner is a freelance writer and a San Francisco Bay Area native. Cindy has covered SF theater and opera for Examiner.com via her bicycle since January 2009. Check out her work on Examiner.com.