Paso Robles District Cemetery annual Memorial Day Ceremony returns on Monday, May 30. The cemetery began its memorial ceremonies in 1980 when patriotic District Cemetery board members wanted to honor veterans on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Their annual ceremonies took a break the last two years for COVID-19-related issues, but now they are ready to bring back the greatly anticipated event.
“There are many hours over several months to put the ceremony together,” said Tom Flynn, the cemetery manager. “The reason we had to cancel the ceremony the last two years was due to COVID restrictions at the time we needed to start planning the event.”
The Avenue of Flags lining the cemetery driveway will be in place and ready on May 28, 29, and 30. Flags will be going up at 7 a.m. and will be taken down at 3 p.m. and volunteers are welcome to help. In addition, local Boy Scouts, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW), American Legion, the Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge, and LIONS Club will be placing small flags on each veteran’s grave on Saturday, May 28 at 9 a.m.
On Monday, May 30, the program will start at 11 a.m. with the Estrella Warbirds doing a flyover followed by the national anthem. Then the Invocation will be followed by patriotic music, guest speakers, a closing prayer, 21-gun salute from the Honor Guard, and a playing of taps. The American Legion then raises the flag to conclude the ceremony.
Tom shared his excitement to get back to the cemetery’s anticipated ceremonies.
“The people of Paso Robles really enjoy the ceremony and take great pride in all of the flags honoring the many veterans,” he said.
The Cemetery Board of Trustees will be handing out cookies, coffee, and lemonade after the ceremony. In addition, the Paso Robles Fire Department ladder truck will be flying its large American flag over the cemetery entrance on Memorial Day.
For more information on the Paso Robles District Cemetery, visit pasocemetery.com
Atascadero Memorial Day Ceremonies
This year, Atascadero is honoring the area’s fallen soldiers with a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Face of Freedom Veterans Memorial. The ceremony, which is expected to last about an hour, will start at 11 a.m. with the national anthem, a flyover by the Estrella Warbirds, guest speakers, taps played by Darin Gong, and a wreath-laying.
Like in previous years, this year’s Memorial Day Ceremony will be put on by the Atascadero Veterans Memorial Foundation (AVMF), which also organizes Atascadero’s Veterans Day Ceremony every year.
The wreath-laying will honor the memory of Seymour “Si” Tenenberg.
“Seymour ‘Si’ Tenenberg passed away at 87 years old on February 7,” said Cheryl Hertan, AVMF board President and ceremony coordinator. “[He was the] Director of Helping Soldiers in the Desert, and sent more than 23,000 care packages to military members deployed overseas over the past 15 years. Si Teneberg was a U.S. Marine Korean Veteran.”
The community of Atascadero has been showing up since both the Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies returned after a county-wide virtual Memorial Day Ceremony in May 2020 and abbreviated ceremonies through May 2021.
“This truly is a community event, and the participants from the Elks Antlers/Boy Scouts are helping set up and tear down to the tradition of the Gongs (this year, we are fortunate to have Darin [Gong], perhaps for the last time) playing TAPS,” stated Cheryl. “We have found we don’t really need to advertise these ceremonies anymore; the community expects them and comes out in droves to honor our military.”