MERCED — There will be no shortage of ways for community members to recognize Veterans Day on Monday, as a full lineup of events is planned in the Merced area.
The events kick off at 10a.m. with the closing ceremony for the Field of Honor, which is in its first year, at Merced College. The Field of Honor is a display of 1,000 U.S. flags dedicated to veterans, active duty military and first responders. The display is on the college’s front entrance lawn, adjacent to Yosemite Avenue and M Street.
An hour prior to the ceremony, sponsors will retrieve their flags from the display.
After the Field of Honor closing ceremony, at 11 a.m., the Vietnam Veterans of America will hold a Veterans Day ceremony at the memorial at Courthouse Park in Merced. The park is off M Street, between 20th and 21st streets.
At noon in downtown Merced, a ceremony honoring veterans will happen in Bob Hart Sqaure, followed by the annual Merced Veterans Day Parade at 1 p.m. The parade route will proceed along West Main Street, between G and O streets.
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Merced, is the scheduled keynote speaker for the Veterans Day Parade. State Sen. Anthony Canella, R-Ceres, is also scheduled to speak during the event, according to Jim Kanabay of the county’s Veterans Service Office, which is one of the groups organizing the parade.
Kanabay said 2,000 to 3,000 people are expected to attend this year’s parade.
“(The parade) is important because less than one half of a percent of this country serves in its defense, and we need to remind folks that there are faces to the group of (veterans) who served in the defense of this nation,” Kanabay said.
Merced County residents who will be honored during the parade include World War II veterans Max Buettgenbach, Dorthea Eldredge and Wayne Stoop; Korean War veterans Bill Hiller and Ken Wenrich; and Iraq/Afghanistan veterans Cesar and Lee Diaz.
The parade is sponsored by the Merced County Human Services Agency and Merced County Chamber of Commerce, and is made possible through individual donations.
City Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org..