The community turned out for the annual Memorial Ceremony at Dame Shirley Plaza in Quincy held May 29. Once again, Quincy resident and veteran Robert Zernich organized and emceed the event that featured an invocation, speeches, music, a flag ceremony and more.
While the ceremony recognizes individuals who died fighting in all wars and conflicts, this year’s event was dedicated to those who fought in Vietnam. Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars read the names of those who died in that conflict.
Alan DeWolf read the Fallen Comrade Prayer and remembered his days on watch during Vietnam when he observed helicopters bringing the wounded to a nearby medical ship. Each time a soldier died, the flag was lowered in their memory. “It was a sobering reminder,” he said, as he watched the flag dip many times over his four-hour watch.
Jonathan Pangburn played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes with those assembled joining in on the second chorus.
And as is tradition, the Elks presented a history of the American Flag with their unique ceremony.
District 4 Supervisor Greg Hagwood spoke on behalf of himself and the county. He recalled the sacrifice made by his uncle, who died just days before he was scheduled to come home, and lauded all those who made the ultimate sacrifice so others could live.
Plumas County Veterans Services Officer Bill Cook addressed the crowd and talked about the services that are available for veterans in the county, and thanked those who helped make the celebration possible in including the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, the Quincy High School Service Club and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Cook also addressed the soldiers who didn’t die during the war, but have died as a result of the war, from chronic conditions brought on by a variety of carcinogens and Agent Orange.
Scott Quade, who organizes the annual Stand Down for veterans, announced that this year the event will be held Aug. 11-12 in Quincy, as well as on Aug. 26 in Sierraville. Veterans and their families can access a variety of services and goods at these events. Zernich announced that Quade received a national award for his work.
The event concluded with community member remarks and music.