Monday, May 29, 2017, hundreds will come together in historical Benicia to honor all past and current veterans. Held at the West Coast’s oldest military cemetery, this particular service offers a unique experience that will include a special recognition of World War II veterans, a color guard, keynote speaker, rifle salute and a rumbling fly-over.
Organized by the Benicia Historical Society, this free Memorial Day ceremony will bring moving stories that will both educate and touch the hearts of all ages. Many local military veterans are scheduled to attend, alongside public officials, local legislators, and active military personnel.
“We are very proud of our Memorial Day ceremony to honor those who have served and are currently serving in the United States military,” shares Jerry Hayes, currently a director for the Benicia Historical Society. “Benicia is rich in history, which makes the Benicia Arsenal Post Cemetery the perfect place to recognize our troops. It really is an impressive landmark that is a bit of a secret. This truly is a respectful and dignified service that speaks to all who attend.”
What to expect
Beginning at 7:45 a.m., there will be a free Soltrans shuttle to transport guests back and forth from City Park at First Street & Military West, to the Benicia Military Cemetery. If you are an early bird, you won’t want to miss the ceremonial flag raising and placement of flowers.
At 10 a.m., the Memorial Day ceremony will commence by honoring our WWII vets, some of whom are expected to attend. Next up will be a special performance by the VFW Post 3928, American Legion post 101, VFW Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion, which will demonstrate the ceremonial posting and retiring of the colors.
This year’s Keynote Speaker is Col. Lawrence T. Brown, garrison commander, Presidio of Monterey, who will be followed by a dramatic 21-gun salute, delivered by the Military History Preservation Society. And wrapping up the service will be a special fly-over by the 60th Air Mobility Wing from Travis Air Force Base, as well as light refreshments.
How to get here
The Benicia Arsenal Cemetery is easy to get to and will offer a parking shuttle from Military East for late arrivals. For GPS navigation, you can use 735 Buchanan Street, Benicia, California. Take Military East to Hospital Road, then to Buchanan Street and follow the signs through the gate.
Spend a great day by the bay in Benicia
The waterfront city of Benicia is known for its interesting shops, rich history, vibrant arts community, and beautiful views. It’s estimated that nearly 500 artists are in residence, and their work can be viewed and purchased at the many public and private galleries throughout town, including Arts Benicia, the city’s art center and gallery. Visitors can discover Benicia’s colorful past at the Benicia Capitol State Historic Park, the Benicia Fire Museum and the Benicia Historical Museum at the Camel Barns. The charming, scenic city provides visitors with an array of popular dining options and a variety of downtown boutiques that feature unique merchandise, from the latest seasonal fashions to exquisite gifts.