Valley Memorial Day celebrations decades in the making

Events were held throughout the valley to remember and honor those who gave their lives to serve and protect this country.
Memorial Day was marked with prayer services, community walks, and patriotic parades.
While this is a three day weekend for the holiday, many spent time on this day off to show their appreciation for the men and women who gave their lives serving their country.
It began as the first rays of the sun appeared on this Memorial Day.
Scores of people came to Woodward Park in Fresno for the 30th annual sunrise service put on by Vietnam veterans.
To the east in Clovis, hundreds walked and ran in the from Clovis Hills Community Church to Buchanan High School, the alma mater of eight young men who gave their lives fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“There’s been a lot of good people and that’s a big part of why we are here today, is to remember those people,” said Robert Winter, who is part of the Clovis Hills military ministry.
Some of those young men from Buchanan High are buried at Clovis cemetery. At that cemetery, flags waved along the entrance. And the graves of each and every veteran were decorated with small flags.
“This is a special day and we love to put this on for the Clovis citizens,” said August Flach, with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Clovis post.
Veterans in Fresno were also honored and remembered at Fresno Memorial Gardens with the ‘Avenue of Flags’ to honor all veterans buried at the cemetery. A tradition that’s now in its 53rd year.
“We’re here because people before us did their thing they had to do, so you and I, and all of us, could talk like this, and enjoy these celebrations with no problems,” said veteran Carlos Gonzales, who served in Iraq.
And in the south valley, Memorial Day was marked with a patriotic parade.
With high school bands and floats. Some watching in the crowd have loved ones serving in the military like Beatris Galicia whose son served in the Army.
“It’s important for our family because we are celebrating this and for every soldier that everywhere they are saving our country,” Galicia said.
It’s a day when communities come together to remember those who have sacrificed so much so that we can enjoy the freedoms our country provides.

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