Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

 

Memorial Day Services Honor Military Veterans Living and Dead

A Memorial Honor Detail prepares to post the colors at the annual Memorial Day ceremony in Perris.
A Memorial Honor Detail prepares to post the colors at the annual Memorial Day ceremony in Perris.
Master of ceremonies Joanne Evans reads a roll of local veterans who have died in the last year
Master of ceremonies Joanne Evans reads a roll of local veterans who have died in the last year.

Perris residents and elected officials gathered this week to remember military veterans living and dead and pay tribute to the men and women who are defending the U.S. while serving in war zones today.

The event was the annual Memorial Day remembrance at the historic Perris Valley Cemetery, final resting place for more than 900 military veterans, including 13 who served in the Civil War.

“We thank them for their service and ask God to let them rest in peace,” said City Councilwoman Joanne Evans, who presided over the ceremony that drew about 75 people.
Evans recited the roll of former soldiers at Perris American Legion Post 595 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 888 who died in the last year and a bell tolled once for every name. She also cited the names of members of both posts serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. A memorial honor detail fired a rifle volley. A bugler played taps.

Retired Navy Capt. Quinn Hawley salutes as the U.S. Flag passes by
Retired Navy Capt. Quinn Hawley salutes as the U.S. Flag passes by.

Retired Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brady McCarron, who spent 20 years reporting for the American Forces Network, served as guest speaker.  The Perris resident comes from a military family. His great-grandfather served in the Polish Army during World War I. His grandfather was at Pearl Harbor in World War II and his dad served in Vietnam.

McCarron served in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and Korea during his career and called the men and women in uniform “heroes who we should honor every day.” He saved his highest praise for those killed in the line of duty, which include several interred in Perris.

“They were not born heroes and may not have lived their lives as heroes, but they died heroes,” he said.  “Far too many have returned only in our memories. It’s hard to accept when a hero dies.”

Perris City officials who attended the Memorial Day ceremony included Mayor Daryl Busch, former Mayor Jesse Washington and Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Yarbrough. Busch, who served aboard
the destroyer USS Picking while in the Navy, said Memorial Day
reminds him of all generations who have served in the American military.

“It’s an honor to honor the people who have made the sacrifices that allow us to live our lives in freedom,” Busch said.

Yarbrough said that on Memorial Day 2009 he was thinking about his grandfather, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II and his son, who served in the Air Force. He called Memorial Day “the ultimate tribute to the men and women who gave us the privilege of freedom.

“So many other countries around the world can only dream of the freedom we take for granted,” Yarbrough said.

See a video about the Memorial Day service