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Vandenberg honors Memorial Day with distinguished speakers

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

Vandenberg leadership will be representing the base in the local communities during Memorial Day, May 30.

The ceremonies will be held at Santa Maria cemetery, Guadalupe cemetery, Pine Grove cemetery, Lompoc evergreen cemetery and Santa Barbara cemetery, to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

“Memorial Day is a critical day of reflection and remembrance of brave men and women that answered the call of service to defend freedom at home and abroad, ultimately sacrificing their life to secure freedom for future generations and defeat tyranny the world-over,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jason Price, 30th Launch Group superintendent. “We mourn, celebrate and remember. We answer the call to service ourselves, support the families left behind by tragedy, and we gather with family and friends. Never forget these brave men and woman. The beacon of hope our flag symbolizes today is intrinsically tied to those heroes who defended it. Honor them on Memorial Day formally and informally, everyday making the most of the freedom they provided for all of us.”

Vandenberg and the local communities have worked together for years to ensure those who gave their lives are remembered.

“I have been the Master of Ceremonies in Santa Maria for Memorial Day and Veterans Day since 2003,” said Michael Stadnick Jr., Veterans of Foreign Wars post 2521commander. “On Memorial Day I always have a family member of someone who lost a loved one in combat as one of my speakers, along with a Vandenberg speaker. We are honoring the fallen who have given everything in service to our nation.”

The ceremonies often include honor guards as well as rifle salutes and Taps played on a bugle.

“I became involved with the Memorial Day and Veteran Day service in 1987 as the bugler for these services,” said Stadnick. “I have done over 1,500 color guard and honor guard services. We do veteran honors for veterans, in conjunction with an active military unit. I encourage military families to participate in area veterans programs, we in the community appreciate their attendance and their service to our country."

The ceremonies can be attended at the following locations.  

Starting at 11 a.m.
Santa Maria Cemetery
1501 S. College Drive
Santa Maria, CA 

Starting at 11 a.m.
Pine Grove Cemetery
South Bradley Rd. and Stubbefield Rd.  

Starting at 11 a.m.
Guadalupe Cemetery
Corner of Main St. and Highway 1

Starting at 11 a.m.
Lompoc Evergreen Cemetery
600 S. C Street
Lompoc, CA

Starting at 10 a.m.
Santa Barbara Cemetery
901 Channel Dr.
Santa Barbara, CA