How communities across Stanislaus County and beyond are marking Memorial Day

·3 min read
Joan Barnett Lee/

Communities throughout the Northern San Joaquin Valley will observe Memorial Day this weekend with music, color guards, military displays, fireworks and more. Among the events being held:


A ceremony is planned at Acacia Memorial Park, 801 Scenic Drive, at 11 a.m. Monday. The commemoration will be conducted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3199 and American Legion Post 74. Speakers will be Modesto Mayor Sue Zwahlen and Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirkse.

Ahead of the Acacia observance, VFW Post 3199 members will conduct their annual drop of flowers from the Seventh Street bridge into the Tuolumne River at 9 a.m. to honor those lost at sea. They also will be part of the 1 p.m. ceremony at Lakewood Memorial Park in Hughson (more below).

Also in Modesto, Dan Joseph again has a display of crosses in his front lawn to honor “the fallen heroes from our area.” At 2109 Woodland Ave., 82 crosses have been placed. Sixty bear the names of Marine, Army and Navy service members who that lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, Joseph said. Twelve have the names of law enforcement personnel who died in the line of duty. And 10 represent lives lost in major wars dating from the Revolutionary War. Below is a 2015 video about Joseph’s display. At the time, he said he’d been putting up the crosses for five or six years.


“This Memorial Day, We Tell Their Story” is the theme at Lakewood Memorial Park’s service May 30 at 1 p.m. The program will feature the 191st Army Band, aka the Band of the Wild West, Maj. Gen. Miles A. Davis, the California National Guard Honor Guard, the Modesto City Schools Drumline, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Unit and representatives of the Modesto Fire Department and Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District. Program director Steve Trapp says attire should be red, white and blue casual and he urges attendees to bring lawn chairs, hats for sun protection and water. Lakewood is at 900 Santa Fe Ave.


A remembrance will be held May 30 at 11:30 a.m. at the Community Center, 3600 Santa Fe St. The commemoration is part of the city’s centennial celebration and will start at the Veterans Memorial Wall in front of the Community Center. It will include speakers, prayer, the presentation of colors, a laying of the wreath at the wall, music and light refreshments. For more information, contact Gaby Hernandez at 209-863-7122 or, or visit


The gathering will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a prelude performance by the Hilmar Community Band. The commemoration program will start at 10 a.m. and will include American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts and remarks by Turlock Mayor Amy Bublak. State Assemblyman Heath Flora and U.S. Rep. Josh Harder are expected to attend or be represented by staff.


The Not Forgotten Memorial Day Commemoration, May 28-30, in Woodward Park is back after a four-year hiatus, according to its website, The free event includes 7,000 crosses representing fallen service members, military helicopter landings, a USO show, military displays, a kids play zone, fireworks, a Gold Star Family reception, the eighth annual Wounded Warrior 5k run/walk and more. Woodward Park is at 710 E. Woodward Ave. See the website for a full list of scheduled events.

Santa Nella

The website of the National Cemetery Administration lists a Memorial Day commemoration at 9 a.m. May 29 at the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery, 32053 W. McCabe Road. No details were available Tuesday.

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