In the lead-up to Memorial Day, numerous Clovis Veteran organizations will conduct various events honoring and mourning fallen military personnel.
On Saturday, the Cecil Cox American Legion Post 147 and volunteers will begin to lay 4,000 small flags on the graves of fallen soldiers at the Clovis Cemetery District.
In the past week, the American Legion has teamed up with groups like the Blue Star Moms, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post (VFW) 3225 and Central Valley Veterans in preparation for Saturday’s event.
“We welcome anyone who wishes to volunteer to come help do this patriotic event,” said American Legion Commander Chris Hoffman.
Maintenance workers at the Clovis Cemetery will be placing flags around the cemetery and surrounding roadways.
The Clovis Cemetery holds about 600 fallen veterans, with some of the veterans laid to rest dating back to the Civil War.
Saturday’s event will set up the American Legion’s Memorial Day Ceremony, open to the public starting at 9 a.m.
The ceremony’s guest speakers will include Clovis Mayor Jose Flores and Assemblymember Jim Patterson.
American Legion and VFW auxiliaries will be in attendance to place a ceremonial wreath.
Also in attendance will be the Indigenous Warriors Flag Group of Central California, composed of Native American veterans.
“Everyone’s welcome. We encourage the public to attend,” Hoffman said. “Honor the veterans and honor, Memorial Day, the way it should be.”
With the event taking place outside, the American Legion will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Attendees that are vaccinated will not be required to wear masks during the event.
The Clovis Veterans Memorial District will be conducting its Memorial Day ceremony via Facebook and YouTube.
In the past, the District normally hosts a larger event, which brings in thousands of community members, but this year, they have chosen to host its celebration virtually due to the pandemic.
“Although we are unable to come together in person this year, the District’s commitment to honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms will not waiver,” said in a District Facebook post.
The District hopes that Clovis continues to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom despite different celebration circumstances.
“I ask that all of us remember our fallen heroes not just on Memorial Day, but every day by being a responsible citizen, engaging in our community, and remembering our countries and community’s foundational ideals,” said CVMD CEO Lorenzo Rios.
The event will begin at 9 a.m. and will include a virtual replica of the annual Patriotic Concert hosted every year. The concert consists of military branch songs and patriotic marches recorded by the Association of the Army Sounds of Freedom Band.
“While we can never fully repay our debt to America’s fallen warriors, we can remember their service and honor their sacrifice,” Rios said.
The Academy Cemetery and Red Bank Cemetery will have their Memorial Day Ceremonies on May 29 at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., respectively.
The list of Clovis-based ceremonies is available below.
MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONIES
- Academy Cemetery, 11824 Mendocino Ave., at 9 a.m. on May 29.
- Red Bank Cemetery, 11548 E. Shaw Ave., at 10:30 a.m. on May 29.
- Clovis Cemetery, 305 N. Villa Ave., at 9 a.m. on May 31.
- Clovis Veterans Memorial District, virtual event on Facebook and Youtube, at 9 a.m. on May 31.