Santa Paula Times

Memorial Day: Annual observance to feature veterans’ advocate Williams

May 25, 2011
Santa Paula News

In Santa Paula Memorial Day is much more than a three-day weekend - it’s a much-beloved community tradition.

On Monday, May 30, Mercer-Prieto VFW Post 2043 is again inviting the whole community to share in remembering lost loved ones at Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery.

The Memorial Day Observance will be held at 10:30 a.m. and feature an address by 35th District Assemblyman Das Williams. Williams has distinguished himself in office by his deep commitment to veterans and their issues. The cemetery will be decorated with hundreds of American flags for the observance, held at the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Monument.

Participating in the program with the VFW are the Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 56, Channel Islands Chapter American Ex-POWs, Vietnam Veterans Ventura County, DAR Golden West Chapter, Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge 314, Optimist Club of Santa Paula, Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge 2097 and the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs of Santa Paula. The Isbell Middle School Band, with Scott Knef conducting, will offer a musical prelude.

VFW Post Commander Albino Pineda will welcome the crowd before the singing of the National Anthem accompanied by the Isbell Band. Pastor Joel Hortiales of El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church will offer the invocation.

Williams, elected to the Assembly in 2010 after seven years of service on the Santa Barbara City Council, will be introduced by Past Post Commander (2007-2008) Bill Florio. The 35th Assembly District includes over half of the County of Santa Barbara, as well as nearly a quarter of the County of Ventura.

In the Assembly Williams is focused on reforming the state budget process, ensuring that California children have access to a world class education, fixing the state’s dysfunctional healthcare system, and protecting the environment, primarily through reducing our state’s reliance on oil and coal. Williams is also very interested in veterans’ issues and is a frequent visitor to the Veterans Home in Saticoy, where he meets with veterans to gain insight on those issues that affect them.

Williams is focused on reforming the state budget process ensuring that California veterans programs are adequately funded.

Following Williams’ presentation, the Placing of the Wreaths will be conducted, followed by the release of Jerry Garcia’s “Heavenly Doves.” Mercer-Prieto VFW Post 2043 and the Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 56 combined Rifle Squad will salute departed comrades, and Rudy Arellano, will sound “Taps” to conclude the ceremony.