Silicon Valley, like many communities across the nation, is observing Memorial Day with somber speeches, ceremonies and flag planting at cemeteries.
Flags are flying at half mast at all government agencies, on order of the president, while families and friends of military men and women who died in service place flags and flowers on their graves.
This morning at Oak Hill Memorial Park, Marion Matundan and Matthew Bell will delivery keynote addresses during service that includes a military aircraft flyover, a wreath procession and a hot dog barbecue. The event begins at 11am and takes place at 300 Curtner Ave., in San Jose.
Steven Butow and J. Kevin Graves will speak during a ceremony in San Bruno that continues with a wreath procession, a brass band, a flyover and a rifle salute. The service starts at 11am and takes place at 1300 Sneath Lane, San Bruno.
Memorial Day became a federal holiday in the wake of the Civil War. Then known as Decoration Day, it was recognized at the end of May, when flowers were in bloom all over the country. But the practice of placing flowers on fallen soldiers’ graves dates back centuries.
In 2001, Congress created “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” which encouraged citizens to pause at 3pm every Memorial Day for a moment of silence to reflect on those who gave their lives in service to the nation. For the death toll of each war, click here.
“It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day,” Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada once said.
Metro/San Jose Inside is taking the day off but will be back Tuesday.