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Memorial Day Service at Pioneer Cemetery

Monday, May 31, 2004


Memorial Day Service Held at Pioneer Cemetery  Sierra Madre VFW Post 3208 presented a Memorial Day service at Pioneer Cemetery on Monday, attended by nearly 200 mostly local residents.  The ceremonies were presided over by Bill Newbery, Commander of Post 3208, and also Commander of the Disabled American Vets Post 22.  In lieu of an invocation, Pioneer Cemetery Board member Barbara Kline paid tribute to recently deceased Rev. Canon Spencer Edwards, a member of the VFW, and a 20 year member of the Board of the Cemetery.  She referenced a quote by Thomas Paine, "The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion," noting that this was the essence of Rev. Edwards.  The colors were presented by the NJROTC from Pasadena High School, and hymns and patriotic songs were performed by the Sierra Madre Congregational Church Choir, under the direction of Ken Walker.  Melinda Dean recited a poem titled "I Am Just A Soldier."  Featured speaker was Lieutenant Commander Frank Stubbe, USN (Ret.), who currently serves as senior Naval Science Instructor at Pasadena High.  Lt. Com. Stubbe served 23 years active duty, beginning in 1965, including a tour of duty in Vietnam.  He was stationed aboard the USS Hornet and the USS Enterprise.  He noted the irony in the fact that the World War II veterans, who are known as the Greatest Generation, received a memorial in Washington DC this weekend, after memorials had already been created for Korean War Vets, and Vietnam War Vets.  He discussed the fact that he, as a Vietnam vet, had flown 18 hours home from the South Pacific, as had Korean vets and WWII vets, but unlike his Korean and WWII vet colleagues, he could not wear his uniform in public for fear of being spit upon.  "Different times." he said.  He also noted that the WWII vets had not needed a memorial, as "a better world was there memorial."  Flowers and wreaths were laid on a symbolic grave by members of the VFW, and Taps was played by Richard Carey of Arcadia High School. Click on a picture below to see it larger.


VFW Members

Bill Newbery introduces Barbara Kline, who pays tribute to recently deceased Rev. Canon Spencer Edwards

NJROTC Color Guard presents colors


Melinda Dean reads "I Am Just A Soldier"

Featured speaker Lt. Commander Frank Stubbe, USN (Ret.)

Crowd applauds for Stubbe

Sierra Madre Congregational Choir under direction of Ken Walker

Lt. Com. Stubbe with 1st Sgt. Barriga, (Ret.)

Newbery and VFW Chaplain

Senior Officer Gordon Caldwell places wreath on symbolic grave

VFW officer salutes after placing flowers on symbolic grave

Another symbolic flower placement

Another salute

Crowd shot

Honor Guard fires volley

and presents arms

Richard Carey plays Taps

Crowd stands as choir sings Taps

NJROTC retires colors

PHS Asst. Naval Science Instructor Barriga chats with fellow vet

City Council members Torres, Stockly and Buchanan, plus unidentified attendee

VFW places flags at graves of veterans each year

WWII vet grave

The flag at Kersting Court was also at half-mast




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