Steve Wilson reads the names of local veterans buried in Greenfield cemeteries, a list that filled several pages, during a Memorial Day ceremony Monday at the Greenfield Veterans Memorial Building. (Sean Roney)

GREENFIELD — American Legion Post 635 and the Greenfield Lions Club jointly organized and hosted a Memorial Day ceremony last Monday at the Greenfield Veterans Memorial Building. 

Crowds who showed up were able to get a chicken barbecue lunch, check out the more than 20 vendor booths inside the hall and view some show cars on display.

The May 30 observance was held at noon with a DJ playing the National Anthem and “Taps,” as well as a reading of “In Flanders Fields” by Steve Wilson.

“It’s a day of emotions,” said Greenfield City Councilmember Yanely Martinez, who was the first guest speaker. “We talk about our fallen soldiers, those that gave everything for our freedom and our safety, for our families to be able to have a future.”

Martinez also gave thanks to the American Legion and Lions Club members who organized the ceremony, barbecue and public event. She called the day a “celebration of life” in honor of the veterans and fallen soldiers, and said the city should support a larger event in the future.

Wilson not only read a poem about the fallen, which was written by John McCrae in 1915, but also read the many names of veterans who are buried in Greenfield cemeteries.

“I want to thank everybody for showing up,” said American Legion Post 635 Commander Carlos Venegas.

Greenfield Councilmember Yanely Martinez speaks about the importance of remembering veterans and the need for increased city support for future ceremonies. (Sean Roney)

Incoming Post Commander Daniel Covarrubias also spoke to the crowd, thanking them as well. He noted Memorial Day as the start of summer, when people would go out to enjoy the outdoors with their families.

“Remember the fallen,” Covarrubias said as a reminder to everyone as they enjoyed their summer. “Those that gave everything so that we could have something.”

Marisa Hernandez delivered a speech on behalf of Sen. Anna Caballero, first noting she was grateful to have such gatherings after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Over 1.1 million Americans have died in battle throughout our nation’s history,” Hernandez said. “It is because of these great heroes and their ultimate sacrifice that we celebrate our nation’s shared history, values and freedom.”

She added that there are more than 20 million American veterans and 2 million Americans currently serving either in active duty or reserves, and that simply saying thank you is not enough.

Greenfield Memorial Hall had numerous merchant booths ready for community members who showed up for the Memorial Day ceremony and chicken barbecue. (Sean Roney)

“We can dedicate our time and treasure to those veterans and active service members,” Hernandez said. She recommended volunteering with a local organization, or if eligible, sign up as a member, or even to reach out to veterans.

“May we never forget that freedom is not free,” she said. “We have a duty to uphold our democratic values and secure the blessings of liberty. On this Memorial Day, we owe it to those who fought and died for our nation to stand up for American democracy and ensure our right to a free and fair election.”

Hernandez called on everyone present to be active participants in democracy.

“By doing so, our voices can be elevated and we can have the positive impact on our communities,” she said.

After the noon ceremony, the car show, barbecue and vendor hall continued until 3 p.m. for community members to come through.

Other Memorial Day ceremonies also took place in Gonzales, Soledad and King City this year.

Previous articleWindow on the World Column | The Ever-Changing Market
Next articleSalinas Valley News Briefs | June 7, 2022
Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here