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Claeyssens Foundation Memorial Day Tribute Salutes Veterans

Local event to draw hundreds of veterans, families and friends in remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Ceremony will be 10-11 a.m. May 28 at the Santa Barbara Cemetery. Click to view larger
Ceremony will be 10-11 a.m. May 28 at the Santa Barbara Cemetery. (Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation)

Veterans, their families, those now serving in uniform and the community are invited to join the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation (PCVF) for a free Memorial Day ceremony honoring all who have died in military service to our country.

The event will be 10-11 a.m. Monday, May 28, at the Santa Barbara Cemetery, 901 Channel Drive.

Air Force Col. (ret.) and PCVF Board chair Philip J. Conran will serve as master of ceremonies for the event, which will include speakers from different military branches.

The event will open with the time-honored bagpipe procession by pipe major Bill Boetticher. The Santa Barbara Choral Society, will perform a selection of patriotic songs to honor those who gave their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy.

The auditioned, semi-professional chorus is celebrating its 70th year of service to the Central Coast under the baton of Joanne Wasserman, who is celebrating her 25th year as conductor.

Ample seating areas and parking will be provided. Early arrival is encouraged as the program begins promptly at 10 a.m. Call 969-0695 for group reservations. For more information, call 259-4394 or visit the PCVF website,

This year, PCVF's roster of presenters includes Navy Cmdr. (ret.) Charles “Crash” Huff.

“When it comes to Memorial Day, and ceremonies of this nature, I tend to be more traditional. No surprise to those that know me," Huff said.

"Memorial Day is a specific reminder to never forget those that made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as those that were willing to sacrifice, and should prompt each of us to consider the continuing sacrifices made every day by the men and women currently serving our country both here and abroad," he said.

"The United States has plenty of fun, joyous holidays," said speaker Max Peck, a sargent (ret). in the Marine Corps. "Most of them are spent with friends and family. We are free to share meals, stories, and love for one another.

"Memorial Day reminds me of what it costs to have those fun and loving moments. Men and women of this nation paid a price in blood so we, the living, can enjoy the freedoms of this great nation. It's a debt I'll never be able to repay."
Asked to share her thoughts about what makes Memorial Day special, USAF), Lt. Col. (ret.) Patricia Rumpza said, “As citizens of Santa Barbara, we are fortunate to be able to come together as a community to participate in a time-honored tradition.

"It’s a way to reflect on what it means to be an American and honor people who served, or are currently serving in places around the world, in order to protect the liberties we all enjoy."

Tickets are available for the PCVF Memorial Day Fundraiser Luncheon that takes place immediately following the ceremony. The cost is $150. To order tickets, call 259-4394, email [email protected] or visit

— Sarah Ettman for Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation.


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