May 22, 2023 – Memorial Day, is a day of remembrance and pride according to Clovis Veterans Memorial District CEO Lorenzo Rios. The Memorial Day service begins with a wreath laying that commences into events held at the CVMD.
These events include live bands, a Patriotic Concert played by the Clovis Community Band, Veteran documentaries, and a Memorial Day Luncheon.
According to Lorenzo Rios, the Memorial Day Luncheon is a special event in the eyes of many that participate in the activities of the day.
“You start seeing people breaking bread with people at tables that, in many cases, they don’t know…You’ll inevitably see strangers sit down, and friends walk away. And for me, that’s a fun experience to watch.”
But not only does the mixing of generations and strangers bring a gleam to the eye of Rios, the service of those around the tables is an area that can be seen as an opportunity for growth within the military community.
“Here, we’re already experiencing a connection with not only the youth, but adult mentors, showing them how to serve something bigger than themselves, in this case, the community.”
Chairman of the CVMD Board Tom Wright believes that the reason Memorial Day is so special, specifically in the City of Clovis, is because of the personal touch that affects many lives within its borders.
“The reason that it’s special in Clovis is because it’s personal to many of us. We grew up in this community. The names on the wall that we see in this memorial.”
Those names of course that Wright mentioned were those who have passed on, a tenant to the provocation of the reasoning behind Memorial Day.
“It’s a culmination of everything we stand for [at the CVMD], which is remembering our Veterans and building monuments to them….Everything that takes place at this building is a monument to our Veterans.”
One of those monuments are the Gold Star and Blue Star Families that represent those families who have lost a loved one during war, and those who have a loved one who served or is serving during a time of conflict.
The mixing of Gold Star and Blue Star families is something that connects the community as well, says Rios.
“Blue Star moms literally embraced all the Gold Star moms and had an opportunity to have their pictures of their child there, to remember them, to say their name again, [and let them know] that they’re not forgotten.”
Rios then explained the statutes that remain amongst all Clovis residents and how they can connect to the community. “Living in Clovis, you’re apart of the community insofar as you live in Clovis. But whether or not you interact with folks determines how well you’re connected to the community.”
And that is exactly what entities like the CVMD attempt to do with events such as their Memorial Day festivities in which they try to get community members to interact on the backdrop and the remembrance of those who have served and died for their fellow countrymen.
“What we try to do is expand the sense of community.”
Memorial Day Events in addition to the Memorial Day Fun Run held on the Saturday before Memorial Day, will commence Monday, May 29th from 9 AM-2 PM at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District.