Memorial Day

By James Buckley   |   June 7, 2018
Three-star general George Patton's beast of a 1942 Dodge Command Car was on full display at the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation Memorial Day remembrance at Santa Barbara Cemetery; the Command Car was used during Operation Torch that took Patton's 3rd Army all the way from Morocco to Tunis

More than a thousand participants gathered at the Santa Barbara Cemetery to honor military veterans on Memorial Day. The idea behind this yearly event sponsored by the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation is to celebrate the everyday heroes who’ve given their all and to keep the fallen in our minds. Bill Boetticher and the Sheriff’s Bagpipes and Drum Corps played from 9:30 am until the program began at 10 am with a call to order by emcee colonel Philip Conran USAF (Ret). Posting of the Colors was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of the National Anthem, an invocation by Jerry Gray USAF, a “Tribute to the Armed Forces” medley led by sergeant Max Peck Marine Corps (Fmr), and a wreath presentation in honor of those who’ve died in service to their country. Congressman Salud Carbajal spoke briefly, as did lieutenant colonel Patricia Rumpza USAF (Ret). “America The Beautiful” was sung by a large contingent from the Santa Barbara Choral Society, directed by JoAnne Wasserman, and the ceremony ended with a slow sorrowful playing of “Taps”. 

There was an Air Force fly-over, but it was neither seen nor heard over low-lying clouds with a ceiling of perhaps 500 feet on a very May Gray Day.

Hazel and lieutenant John Blankenship USN (Fmr) relax at their Montecito home where more remembrances got underway after the events at the cemetery
Lieutenant colonel Patricia Rumpza USAF (Ret) served on active duty for the 1st Persian Gulf War and also Operation Desert Storm in 1990-’91

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