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San Luis Obispo marks Memorial Day with special ceremony

Posted at 1:33 PM, May 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-27 16:33:51-04

Veterans and supporters gathered Monday at the San Luis Cemetery to commemorate the annual Memorial Day Veteran’s Remembrance service.

“We’ve been doing this for 144 years,” event coordinator and veteran Nora O’Donnell said. “I hope that we are able to continue this for many years to come and that people remember and honor those who served and gave their lives.”

The remembrance ceremony and service was sponsored by the American Legion Post 66 and the cemetery dedicated the day to honor men and women of San Luis Obispo County and across the nation who died while serving in the U.S. Military.

San Luis Obispo Memorial Day
KSBY Photo


The service included the raising of the American Flag by local Sea Cadets, featuring patriotic music from the Pacific Horizon Chorus, a recitation of the Gettysburg Address by local attorney Stew Jenkins who portrayed Abraham Lincoln, and a historical tribute to the American Flag by the local boy scouts from Troop 322.

Also featured was a reading from the Memorial Day General Orders from General W.G. Hawley GAR, circa 1885, in accordance with the GAR tradition, and a flyover of a B25 and a T-28 from the Estrella Warbird Museum of Paso Robles.

The event started with the Fred Steele Post 70 of the Grand Army of the Republic and was turned over the American Legion Post in 1923. At that time, celebrations started at Higuera and Chorro streets, with a patriotic parade marching to the San Luis Cemetery.

“We’ve been passed the baton from member to member over the years, I’ve been doing it for five years now, spearheading it. It takes a village to put this on,” O’Donnell said. “As an American Legion member, I firmly believe that we need to support our veterans. I am a veteran myself and I just think it’s great that we’re doing this event.”