A full slate of events are scheduled for western Nevada County today in observance of Memorial Day.
The Banner Mountain Veterans of Foreign War Post No. 2655’s color guard will fire its rifles in starting the day with a 9 a.m. ceremony at Nevada City’s Memorial Grove in Pioneer Park, as the community honors those who gave all.
The day concludes with an open house hosted by Welcome Home Vets in Grass Valley, during which author Kurt Chismark will sign copies of his book “An Honorable Illusion: A Memoir,” which chronicles Chismark’s own service in Vietnam. In between, bicycle, bus and walking tours of western county’s Local Heroes’ Memorial Bridge Plaques will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m.
At Grass Valley’s Memorial Park, beginning at 11 a.m., Claude Hessel, a retired US. Coast Guard member, will serve as emcee of an hour-long program to be capped off by a hot dog lunch served by local Boy Scouts.
Following the pledge of allegiance, Dawn Simmons will perform the national anthem with a flyover provided by the local Ryder Flight team. Judy Gurley will sing “God Bless America,” and a wreath-laying ceremony follows by the American Legion, The American Legion Auxiliary, Vietnam Veterans of America, Marine Corps League, Veterans of Foreign War, Friends of Nevada County Military, Daughters of American Revolution and the Sierra Nevada Blue Star Mothers.
Among those speaking at the service, Catherine Ione-Perkins and Patricia Nelson will discuss and invite attendees to join the Local Heroes’ Memorial Bridge tours that follow the ceremony. World War II veteran Manuel “Chick” Cicogni, PFC Carl Fox, Navy veteran Dick Bryant and Pearl Harbor survivor Lou Conter will be among the featured speakers with Nevada County Supervisor Hank Weston delivering the keynote address.
Barbra Conner will offer a rendition of “God Bless the USA” before a mustering of veterans to be recognized and a three-volley gun salute. The Veterans Honor Guard will play “Taps,” followed by “Amazing Grace” performed on the bagpipes by Lester Milory, a retired Air Force staff sergeant and member of the All Veterans Honor Guard and American Legion Post.
Visit TheUnion.com for more on the Local Heroes’ Memorial Bridge Tour, feature stories on veterans and their families and more information on Memorial Day.