Memorials, motorcycles and music will be the cornerstones of the 2012 Cambria Memorial Day ceremony starting at 11 a.m. Monday, May 28, by the flag stand at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St.
That flag stand will be the focus of attention — the keynote “speaker,” so to speak — because American Legion Post No. 432 has completed its second-phase upgrade of the star-shaped memorial and the area that surrounds it.
Tall, re-roped flagpoles with new hardware hold the U.S. flag and, around it, standards for each of the five primary branches of military service. This year’s U.S. flag will be much larger (8 feet by 12 feet) than previously, according to post Commander Greg Sanders.
In the upgrade, the Merchant Marine memorial was replaced and relocated onto a brick stanchion northwest of the primary flag stand. A 20-foot-tall flagpole for that branch’s service flag is mounted behind the memorial that honors merchant mariners who served in World War II.
A similar flagpole and granite-and-brick memorial were located to the southeast of the flag stand. This memorial honors servicemen and women who are missing in action or prisoners of war. The POW/MIA flag will fly high above that memorial.
Artist and Post Sergeant-at-Arms Jay Burbank has cut inspirational words out of long, slender sheets of stainless steel to be mounted on the step risers from the memorial-deck of the flag stand. That deck is paved with bricks, many of them with engraved messages commissioned by family and friends to honor their veterans and others.
The words chosen for the display by Burbank and post officials are: Bravery, Country, Courage, Duty, Gratitude, Honor, Integrity, Liberty, Peace and Pride.
Mark Greenaway, architect, donated the design work for the upgrade. John Hammon is the general contractor for the work.
Eventually, brickwork is to encircle the flag stand and the two new memorials and pave a pathway from Cambria Drive to the memorial building. But that takes money, something most nonprofit groups and service clubs say is in short supply these days. So some fundraising is in order.
The Memorial Day event plans include all the traditions, including: having former Rosie the Riveter Doris Stacy, 89, place the memorial wreath; The “Post Everlasting” ceremony honoring members who have died; performances of taps; homage to active-duty service personnel and veterans in attendance; rifle salute; and presenting of the colors, including a “Rolling Thunder” reenactment by motorcycle-riding members of American Legion Riders Chapter 432.
Between various short remarks and presentations, patriotic music will be provided by the band ColdBareRain, which consists of vocalist Molly Pasutti, guitarist/vocalist Jamie Dunlap and Dorian Michael on guitar.
Dunlap and Pasutti are professional arrangers who live most of the time in Cambria. He does the music for “South Park” and arranges for Disney Pixar animated cartoons and full-length features. They arranged the Christmas music performed in December at Old Santa Rosa Chapel.
Plaques or certificates of appreciation are to be presented to retiring middle-school teacher Mark Kniffen, Shirley Smyth, Ruben Villalobos, Los Osos Valley Mortuary and Memorial Park (which provided at a substantial discount the granite monuments for the Merchant Marine and POW/MIA memorials), and Cambria Hardware (the Merchant of the Year Award).
Memorial Day closures
Banks and schools will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, along with federal, state, county and local governmental offices. The Cambrian office will also be closed.
Most shops and restaurants remain open for business. Hearst Castle and state parks will be open to visit, but district offices will be closed. The Cambria Historical Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Post offices are closed, and there will be no mail deliveries on the North Coast.
Local pickup of trash and recycling will continue on its normal schedule.
Cambria Library will close Tuesday, May 29, for the holiday, since the facility is normally closed on Mondays. That way, the library staff gets a paid holiday, too.