Several local events are planned this year to commemorate Memorial Day. Here are some of the scheduled observances over the coming days:
American flags will be placed at the gravesites of all veterans at Greenwood Cemetery — located at 1757 J St. — on Friday at 8 a.m. On Monday morning, larger flags will be placed around the perimeter of the cemetery. This will be followed at 11 a.m. by a Memorial Day ceremony.
Participating in this year’s observance are representatives from Arcata Veterans Hall, American Legion Post 274, American Legion Arcata Post 274 Women’s Auxiliary, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2542, Boy Scout Troop 9, Girl Scouts from McKinleyville and Arcata and the Mad River Community Honor Guard, as well as Pastor Chuck Clark of the Wesleyan Church of the Redwoods in McKinleyville.
“This is important for the community, because a vast number of community members have served in the armed forces,” said Logan Sutherland, sergeant-at-arms for American Legion Arcata Post 274 and a member of the Mad River Community Honor Guard.
“When the United States goes to war or is involved in a conflict, certain community members go, some come back and others do not,” he said. “This has been going on for many generations, and it is important to honor those that did not make it back. The families will always carry the loss, and the community will always feel the loss. It is important that we come together and honor those who gave the greatest sacrifice.”
This year’s ceremony will feature Aviation Maintenance Master Chief L. Katy Brown as the guest speaker. The Gettysburg Address will be presented by Boy Scout Senior Patrol Leader First Class Jeshua Cloney and will be followed the raising of the American flag.
The Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will present a Memorial Day service titled “People Worth Remembering” at 10 a.m. Sunday. The Rev. Bryan Jessup will lead those in attendance in thinking about people from the past who they find inspirational. He’ll then invite everyone to delve into their own memories of people who have had powerful, positive impact on their lives.
“In this Memorial Day service, along with the songs and a short sermon, people will have a chance to share with one another the memory of one person (among many) who has touched their lives in a positive way that they will never forget,” Jessup said. “My hope is that in remembering this person, the people who participate will feel touched by them again and that they will choose to pass the gift along by becoming ‘a person worth remembering’ for others.”
Child care will be available. The fellowship is located at 24 Fellowship Way. For more information, go to www.huuf.org.
More than 200 local veterans will be honored during a brief Memorial Day program Monday at the Myrtle Grove Memorial Cemetery, 910 Myrtle Ave. in Eureka. The 11:30 a.m. observance will feature the presentation of colors and the laying of a memorial wreath by the Redwood Veterans Honor Guard. Special recognition will be given to World War II veterans at the cemetery.
“Remembering those who served in both wartime and peacetime is important in the ongoing heritage of a community,” said Milton Phegley, Eureka native and cemetery volunteer.
Veterans’ graves will be decorated with American flags beginning Saturday. Cemetery historical information and docent services will be available on Memorial Day. Limited parking is available within the cemetery grounds. Additional parking is available on adjacent streets, at Cooper Gulch Recreation Area and at the Humboldt County Office of Education across the street from the cemetery grounds.
According to a press release for the Memorial Day event, Myrtle Grove Memorial Cemetery was established in 1861 as Eureka’s first organized burial ground. Among the over 6,000 buried within the 9½-acre grounds are Eureka and Humboldt County’s pioneers, community leaders, business people, fraternal organization members and political and religious leaders. Among the 216 veterans are veterans of the Civil War (at least 169), Spanish-American War, Indian Wars and World Wars I and II.
Since 2015, volunteers have been engaged in cemetery restoration, gravestone finding and renovation, landscape maintenance, public education and memorial programs. New volunteers are welcome.
“The volunteers are helping to correct many years of neglect and renew the historic cemetery as a valuable urban open space,” Phegley said.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eureka/Ocean View, Sunset
Ocean View Cemetery/Sunset Memorial Park will hold a public Memorial Day program at 11 a.m. Monday in the courtyard of the Veterans Garden at Ocean View Cemetery, 3975 Broadway. This year, the program will include music by the Humboldt Harmonaires, bagpipe music by Rod Ross and military honors by the Mad River Community Honor Guard. The featured speaker will be Capt. Greg Fuller, sector commander, USCG Sector Humboldt Bay. The program will last about an hour, with refreshments served afterward.
“Memorial Day is the traditional day to remember the people, our loved ones, who gave their lives to protect us,” said Don McCombs, administrator of Ocean View Cemetery/Sunset Memorial Park.
He added: “We are losing the World War II veterans especially to age and we need to remember what they fought for and honor all who served in our nation’s service. We have not had a mandatory draft since the 1970s so all who have served since then have consciously volunteered for that duty.”
On Saturday starting at 8 a.m., the American Legion, VFW and members of other local area service clubs and veterans organizations will be placing small flags on graves where there are bronze veterans’ markers. To help place these flags, volunteers are asked to meet at Ocean View Cemetery on Saturday at 8 a.m. Volunteers are also needed Monday at 3 p.m. to take the flags down.
On Monday, over 200 large flags, donated by the families of deceased veterans, will be posted by cemetery employees on the Avenue of the Flags throughout the cemetery.
A Memorial Day celebration is planned for Monday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Ferndale veterans and other organizations are coordinating a parade, followed by a memorial ceremony at the Ferndale Cemetery and then a return parade to the Veterans Memorial Building. Everyone is welcome.
Veterans will be honored on Memorial Day as flags are unfurled along Main Street. Thanks to ongoing efforts by Sunrise Rotary members, an addition of commemorative flags this year will extend the line of flagpoles along the entrance of Rohner Park.
The commemorative effort was started in 2015 by Sunrise Rotary with some startup funding by the McLean Foundation and with assistance of Fortuna’s Kiwanis, Soroptimist, Lions and Noon Rotary organizations. Families of veterans purchased the flags, supplying information for the plaques on each pole. Cindy Daetwiler of Ferndale Jewelers in Fortuna donated the engraving.
A small crew of Rotarians and members of the Wyland family worked on Tuesday to assemble this year’s addition of flags, according to a press release for the Memorial Day observance. The family purchased a flag this year to honor Al Wyland, who died last July.
The flags will fly on Memorial Day until 7 p.m.
The 24th annual Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse Ceremony will take place Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Memorial Lighthouse site on the corner of Edwards and Trinity streets.
The ceremony — which honors those who have been lost or buried at sea — begins with bagpipe music by Matthew Marshall, followed by a flag ceremony and the Pledge of Allegiance led by McKinleyville Boy Scout Troop 99 and Girl Scouts from the Redwood Service Unit.
“This year’s poignant Memorial Ceremony honors the 249 loved ones, both lost at sea, as well as buried at sea, whose names have been engraved at this sacred memorial site for over 50 years, from Humboldt County and beyond, including many military services members. A USCG representative will be commemorating the servicemen and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting our community and our county,” said Dana Hope, Trinidad Civic Club co-president, who will preside over the ceremony.
The Rev. Nancy Streufert, priest associate from Saints Martha and Mary Episcopal Mission in Trinidad, will give an invocation and vocalist Samantha Day will sing “Amazing Grace.” Cmdr. Clint Schlegel, deputy sector commander of Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay, will address the audience and Memorial Lighthouse historian Patti Fleschner will read a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson titled “Crossing the Bar.”
Trinidad City Mayor Pro-Tem Jack West will then ring the Trinidad Head Lighthouse keeper’s cottage bell and Janine Volkmar, Trinidad Civic Club recording secretary, will read the memorial names, followed by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flyover. Saxophonist Matthew Brogdon will play “Taps” to close the ceremony.
The ceremony, which will run about 35 minutes, will take place rain or shine and there is no available seating. For more information, call 707-677-3816 or go to www.trinidadcivicclub.org.