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Oakland honors military service on Memorial Day

on May 31, 2011

One-foot-tall national flags were stuck on both sides of the path at the Mountain View Cemetery in North Oakland, where more than 100 people convened on Monday to pay respect to deceased military service members at the cemetery’s 90th Memorial Day commemoration.

The ceremony highlighted two speakers in the uniform—Captain Charley Diaz of the U.S. Coast Guard and Captain Laura Kirby of the U.S. Air Force. Local musicians such as La Nell Martin of Oakland Youth Chorus and the Piedmont Highlanders Drum and Pipe Trio also performed at the ceremony.

Dan Sullivan was one of the white-haired seniors sitting in the crowd. As a Korean War veteran, he comes to the commemoration every year. When asked why he does so, his answer was simple: “To respect the others who are not here,” he said.

While the majority of the commemoration’s participants were older, some young parents brought their children to the ceremony. “We have a lot of family members who served in the military over the years,” said Martha Martinez, the mother of a 9-year-old boy. “I want to teach him about the service that people give to our country.”

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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