Lakewood residents are invited to join in the city’s annual Memorial Day tribute to the men and women who have sacrificed their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces, as well as members of our local veterans’ organizations who have died during the past year.
The Memorial Day Ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 28 at the Veterans Memorial at Del Valle Park, adjacent to the airplane. The park is located on Woodruff Avenue, between Henrilee Street and Arbor Road. Click for map to Del Valle Park.
Rear Admiral Garry J. Bonelli, Deputy Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command will be the keynote speaker. The command develops strategy, doctrine and tactics for Naval Special Warfare forces, including more than 9,000 SEAL, Special Boat and mission specialist personnel who support fleet and special operations worldwide.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the placement at the memorial of the poem authored by Lakewood resident Dennis Lander, “The Boys of Del Valle Park.” The poem will be read by John and Teri Kelsall, parents of Navy SEAL Lieutenant Commander Jonas Kelsall. Kelsall, along with 29 other American troops, perished in a military helicopter shot down in Afghanistan in August 2011 in the largest single loss of American lives in that conflict.
The ceremony includes the laying of wreaths at the Veterans Memorial, as well as remarks from Lakewood’s mayor and other dignitaries. Lakewood City Council Members will attend along with members of American Legion, Post 496; Veterans of Foreign Wars, Memorial Post 8615; Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 19 and Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 756.
A musical tribute to those who have served in the armed forces and a stirring rendition of “Taps” will be performed by talented young musicians from local schools. The nationally recognized Lakewood High School Naval Junior ROTC will present our nation’s flag.
Parking will be available along Woodruff Avenue, as well as on Arbor Road and Henrilee Street. Neighboring residents are encouraged to walk or ride their bikes to the park.
This event is free and is open to the public.