Memorial Day events mark first big celebrations since COVID-19 began


FRESNO, California (KGPE) – At the Nisei War Memorial in Roeding Park, Japanese American men and women from Central California were honored for their military service during WWII–which happened more than 75 years ago.

“It’s such a nice thing to have all the people here gathering.  It’s probably my last time to serve here.  I’m 94 years old, the rest of the remaining, we’re all fading away,” said Clarence Suzuki, a WWII Veteran.

The 69th anniversary of the ceremony included presentations from organizations around the Central Valley and the placing of wreaths at the war memorial.

Over at Fresno Memorial Gardens’ 57th annual Avenue of Flags, around 1,400 flags went up this morning to honor fallen veterans for today’s Memorial Day services.

“I am a combat veteran, and my heroes are those who did not come home.  So, it’s our privilege to honor and to respect them and to remember them for what they did for this country,” said retired U.S. Army veteran, Lt. Col. Robert Small.

While the ceremony usually brings out hundreds of people, today’s event had about a third of the normal showing pre-COVID, but the lieutenant says being able to celebrate Memorial Day with some normalcy makes the day even more special.

“Coming out like this, I think, is the very first event that we’re able to do and people are coming out and fellowshipping with one another and of course, able to pay, in person pay honor and respect to those who have one on before us,” said Lt. Col. Small.

The Avenue of Flags is put up just one day a year on Memorial Day, for just a few hours.

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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