Monday events to commemorate Memorial Day:
Lodi Memorial Park and Cemetery
Hosted by Lodi Memorial Park, American Legion Post 22 and Lodi Funeral Home's Community Outreach Program, this Memorial Day Patriotic Remembrance ceremony features a keynote speech by American Legion Chaplain Chad Donley, a "Champions of Freedom" presentation of community veterans as well as the American Legion Color Guard.
The B Sharp School's violin class provides music and the winners of the county's youth essay contest read their entries on "The True Meaning of Memorial Day."
The ceremony concludes with a wreath laying as Bob Gross, Lodi Community Hall of Fame member and former commander of the Army's 91st Division Band, plays taps, along with a missing man formation flyover and a dove releasing.
The service begins at 9 a.m., with a free pancake breakfast at the conclusion.
5750 E. Pine St., Lodi
Cherokee Memorial Park and Funeral Home
The 60th annual Memorial Day service, beginning at 10:30 a.m., features 11,000 flags covering the grounds, including small flags on each veteran's grave and a field of 2,000 large flags to honor all those killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Some of the larger flags were donated by families of fallen service members, taken from the caskets of their loved ones. Retired Army Maj. Gen. Eldon P. Regua will give a keynote speech in which he pays tribute to the late Marine Corps Master Sgt. Richard Pittman of Stockton, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in Vietnam on July 24, 1966. Pittman passed on Oct. 13, 2016 at the age of 71, and was buried in Cherokee Memorial Park later that month. Pittman's name will be added to a bronze plaque at the cemetery recognizing the Purple Heart Freeway, a section of Highway 99 running from Stockton to Sacramento.
Pittman's Medal of Honor flag was donated by his family to fly during the ceremony, and his family will receive a duplicate of the plaque bearing his name.
Various groups will present wreaths, the Portsmen of Stockton will sing, doves will be released and a missing man formation will fly over the ceremony. Following the service, two videos will play in the new Vineyard Chapel. The first is an interview with Pittman about his action that earned him the Medal of Honor, the second is footage of his funeral service, attended by Marines from across the country.
The videos will play on a loop until 2 p.m. All veterans who attend will receive a $10 gift card for the Omelet House, valid in both Lodi and Stockton. Guests are encouraged to bring items to donate towards gift packs for soldiers, with chewing gum, breath mints, hard candy, trail mix, DVDs, dental floss and foot powder among the requested items. A full list is available at cherokeememorial.com.
831 Industrial Way, Lodi
St. Joachim's Catholic Cemetery
Deacon Karl Welsbacher leads a Rosary service underneath the oak tree near the end of the west road at St. Joachim's Catholic Cemetery at 11 a.m. Guests who wish to sit during the service are advised to bring their own chairs. For more information, contact Laurie Cotulla or Richard Ling at (209) 369-8360.
11495 E Locke Road, Lockeford
Woodbridge Masonic Cemetery
Starting at noon, Lodi Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler Bill Clifford, himself an Army veteran who served in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971, introduces guest speaker Sgt. Maj. Daniel DeGeorge Sr. for the lodge's annual Memorial Day community event, featuring a free lunch.
DeGeorge enlisted in the Army in May 1983, serving as an artilleryman for 12 years, during which time he was stationed in Germany, Korea, Kuwait and many states in the United States. He received an honorable discharge in December 1993, before joining the California National Guard in spring of 2000. Since then, DeGeorge has served as Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of the Veteran Honors Program, Senior Chaplain Assistant, Joint Staff Sgt. Maj. and the Man Power and Personnel (J1) Sgt. Maj. for the California Military Department. A service to honor veterans follows at 1:30 p.m. at the Woodbridge Masonic Cemetery.
19071 Lower Sacramento Road, Lodi
Galt-Arno Cemetery District
Elk Grove's Vice Mayor Mark Cruz speaks at a Memorial Day service at the Galt-Arno Cemetery District. Cruz is Joined by Army Lt. Devin Hill, a Chinook helicopter pilot. Vocalists Lisa Maslen, Mindy Niu and Sarah Cliff also perform, followed by a dove release. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m., and concludes with complimentary cookies and coffee.
14180 Joy Drive, Galt