A Salute to the Memorial Day Ceremony

By Richard Mineards   |   June 13, 2023
Past MJ writer Lynda Millner with her husband Don Seth, 95, a Merchant Marine and the only WWII Veteran at the ceremony (photo by Christopher Davis)

Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation had a record turnout of more than 1,000 people when it held its annual Memorial Day ceremony at Santa Barbara Cemetery.

The Pledge of Allegiance was read by retired Air Force Lt. Col. Patricia Rumpza, with the national anthem sung by retired police sergeant David Gonzales.

Santa Barbara Choral Society, under veteran conductor JoAnne Wasserman, sang the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “America the Beautiful,” while the Prime Time Band played the “Washington Post March” and “76 Trombones,” and the Gold Coast Pipe Band rendered the bagpipe classic “The Green Hills of Tyrol.”

The colorful and solemn ceremony wrapped with Bob Burtness and Howard Hudson playing “Taps” and an impressive flyover of the 61-year-old six plane Condor Squadron.

Guest speakers included Col. Robert Long, commander at the Vandenberg Space Force Base, and Lt. Christian Sandstedt of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Black Fin.


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