Santa Clarita residents look forward each year to an annual schedule of Memorial Day events hosted by Eternal Valley Memorial Park and Mortuary. This year they include music, a rifle salute and a fly-over at a ceremony on Monday, May 28 beginning at 10 a.m. Two days earlier, local Scouts will honor more than 5,000 veterans by placing American flags on graves throughout the memorial park.
Prelude music will be performed by the Santa Clarita Valley Concert Band, led by conductor Tim Durand. This complimentary event, held in the front parking lot of the Mortuary office, is expected to draw thousands of visitors to Eternal Valley, which is located at 23287 North Sierra Highway in Newhall.
“Memorial Day is a day to honor and remember the brave American heroes who gave their lives serving our country,” said Curtis Woods II, general manager of Eternal Valley Memorial Park. “We are grateful to host this important tradition that brings families and friends together in a show of patriotism and respect.”
Arriving guests will see an avenue of large American flags as they arrive. On Saturday, May 26, Scouts will be joined by their families, the Young Marines, and other community volunteers in placing flags at the graves of veterans buried in the Veterans Section and throughout the memorial park, creating a virtual carpet of red, white and blue.
A fly-over of World War II aircraft by the Condor Squadron will open the event. Fred Arnold, veteran, U.S. Air Force Reserves, will greet guests, and Pastor John R. Koczman of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, will provide the invocation and benediction. Bill Reynolds, U.S. Army Vietnam veteran, will give the president’s message and Gary Sproul, chief operating and financial officer for The Signal newspaper, will give the keynote address.
Ronald Reagan Marine Corps League from Simi Valley will post colors and conduct the rifle salute. The presentation of flags to grave markers will be handled by Young Marines of Santa Clarita Valley with Raymond and Joshua Torres, and bagpiper Chelsea Joy will participate.
Additionally, HM3 Steve Quach, Desert Storm veteran, U.S. Navy, and Fausto Galvan, Vietnam veteran, U.S. Marine Corps, will remember our fallen veterans with an honor bell. Mary White will give a tribute to fallen warriors with Hugh Cline on acoustic guitar. Taps will be played by Robert Martinez, Vietnam veteran, U.S. Marine Corps. Memorial Wall and closing will be presented by Curtis Woods II, general manager, Eternal Valley Memorial Park.
The ceremony participants and contributors include the City of Santa Clarita, Charmaine’s Florist, Santa Clarita Valley Concert Band, World War II Condor Squadron, Santa Clarita Valley Elks Lodge #2379, Ronald Reagan Marine Corps League, Simi Valley Young Marines of Santa Clarita Valley, Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 355 – The Lost Patrol & Associates, Santa Clarita Valley Signal Newspaper, Briana Garden, Air Force ROTC, Doug Barrett – Decibel Studios, American Legion Post 507 & Auxiliary, Dennis Witzel, Vietnam veteran, U.S. Army, Millena Hicks, country and western singer, “Rebel Heart,” BBS Carpenter Shop, Brian Bovert, Boy Scouts of America, Bill Hart District, Cub Scouts, Bill Hart District, Girl Scouts, Greater Los Angeles, Santa Clarita Emblem Club #459, Canyon Theatre Guild, Easter Costume, North Hollywood, Eternal Valley Memorial Park, Scott Watson, Sean O’Connell, Nolan Kulp, Elizabeth Howell, William Howell, and other civic-minded individuals and organizations.
For information on the Memorial Day ceremony or about Eternal Valley Memorial Park, call 661-259-0800 or visit Eternalvalleymortuary.com.