May 28, 1999

El Camino Memorial Park to Host 36th Annual Memorial Day Program

Major General Robert Magnus to be Featured Speaker

Stirring patriotic musical tributes and a rifle salute will be highlights of the 36th Annual Memorial Day Program to be held at El Camino Memorial Park, on Monday, May 31.

Veterans groups will present special floral tributes in honor of those Americans who gave their lives in the service of the nation.

Major General Robert Magnus, Commander of Marine Corps Air Bases, Western Area since 1996, will be the featured speaker. The topics of his Memorial Day talk will be "Appreciation for American Veterans."

Prior to his assignment to Miramar, Major General Magnus was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C. In July of 1994 he was appointed Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation.

Making welcoming remarks at the start of El Camino's popular annual event will be Estelle Duran, past president of the ladies auxiliary of the Fleet Reserve Association. Ted Pasnak, DAV Service Officer at Balboa Naval Hospital, will be master of ceremonies. Offering the opening invocation will be Chaplain Henry L. Peterson. Music will be played by the U.S. Navy Band, San Diego.

Featured during the Memorial Day ceremony will be presentation of colors by the VFW Post #5179 Color Guard led by W.W. (General) Lee, followed by the parade of flags led by Stuart Hedley and Harry Hall of Pearl Harbor Survivors Chapter #3.

A traditional favorite is a reading by R.E. "Bob" Earl, Past Commander of VFW Post 5431, of the patriotic poem, "In Flanders Fields." Other readings this year will be "Logan's Order" by Marc-us Ringen Department Chaplain, Military Order of the Purple Heart, San Diego Chapter #49. Immediately following the readings, the San Diego Navy Band will play the National Anthem, and then Oscar Polster, Past Commander of Disabled American Veterans, will present a poetic history of Memorial Day.

"It is our hope that this patriotic program engenders a greater understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices and services so unselfishly given by all American veterans," said Betty Flake, special events coordinator at El Camino Memorial Park.

Participating organizations (in order of floral tribute presentations) are the Veterans of World War I, District 6; American Legion and Auxiliary, District 22; Veterans of Foreign Wars, District I; O.K. Ingram Ship, VFW 1774; Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 2; Point Man Ministries (Vietnam); Voiture #732 40/8; Blinded Veterans Association; Pearl Harbor Survivors, Chapter 3, San Diego; Military Order of the Purple Heart, San Diego Chapter #49; Korean War Veterans; Pearl Harbor Survivors Chapter #3; Fleet Reserve Association, Branch & Unit #9; and Vietnam Veterans of San Diego.

Following the benediction by Chaplain Peterson will be the rifle salute by the Ceremonial Unit, Naval Submarine Base, San Diego and a solo trumpet sounding "Taps," then retiring the colors as the audience stands to sing "God Bless America."

El Camino Memorial Park at 5600 Carroll Canyon Rd., can be reached from Interstate 805 at Sorrento Valley Rd./Mira Mesa Blvd. exit and go East. The ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m., in the veterans area of the 200-acre park, known as Arlington Point. Services will be held rain or shine.

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