VFW Post 3825 Commander Martin Byrne welcomed veterans, visitors, residents, families and friends to the 14th annual Plumas County Veterans Memorial Ceremony on May 27 at Dame Shirley Plaza in Quincy. Congressman Doug LaMalfa (not shown) was a special guest at the event and told the crowd, “What veterans have given us is beyond our ability to repay.” Photos by Roni Java
U.S. Army veteran John Kolb served as keynote speaker for the May 27 Memorial Day observance. “Today, we remember real heroes and say thank you for their sacrifices, though that does not seem nearly enough,” he said. “They came from all walks of life and possessed the qualities of duty, commitment and dedication. It still takes courage today to walk the streets of a dusty village or the pitching deck of an aircraft carrier. Our servicemen and women deserve all of the respect we can give them.”
The bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace” by Tommy Miles brought tears to many eyes at the Memorial Day event in downtown Quincy, a perfect complement to the speeches of gratitude and appreciation that highlighted the costs of freedom paid by so many thousands of American servicemen and women.
Plumas County Supervisor Michael Sanchez, a 24-year U.S. Navy veteran, delivered a message about the many state and national memorial sites honoring veterans. He spoke of the serious physical, mental and emotional issues that still plague returning veterans today and commended the Plumas County Veterans Collaborative for its work to address these critical needs.
Scott Quade, a Plumas County probation officer and key member of the local Veterans Collaborative, thanked everyone for attending the Memorial Day event and discussed healthcare services for area vets, including work to establish a VA clinic locally. He also encouraged the community to come Sept. 7 to the county’s all-day Stand Down event with free services for veterans and their families at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds in Quincy. A vet himself, Quade emphasized how many no-cost services are available to the 2,200 vets who live in our region and that accepting such benefits in no way diminishes services available for other veterans. The advocate lost his Paradise home in the 2018 Butte County Camp Fire. He and his family are eternally grateful for all the assistance they received from the VFW, Elks Lodge 1884 and the Plumas Crisis Intervention and Resource Center.
Plumas County Supervisor Jeff Engel, left, spoke with Cold War Vet John Gallagher about services for military personnel and veterans during a break in the Memorial Day Ceremony to honor servicemen and women locally and nationwide. Gallagher served in Germany in the 1950s and is a volunteer driver for the VA van that takes local vets to medical appointments at the Reno VA.
Members of Quincy Boy Scout Troop 151 were responsible for raising the American Flag in honor of the 14th annual Plumas County Veterans Memorial Ceremony on May 27. Scout Ciera Hymas smiled as she negotiated the lines at the flagpole and Scouts Gabriel Fletcher, far left, Chase Rose and Kyle Rose salute in respect.
VFW Post 3758 Commander Steve Ross of Portola played “Taps” to a somber and appreciate Memorial Day crowd. Not shown, Rev. George Tarleton offered the opening and closing prayers for the day and Rev. Ray Dowdy provided the fallen comrade prayer.
The rifle squadron of American Legion Post 329 fired synchronized shots to salute the dedication, honor and sacrifice of America’s veterans in all wars and conflicts. Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Commission Robert Zernich, a local attorney (not shown), gave the address to veterans.