The Bay Area commemorates Memorial Day with returning in-person ceremonies

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – For many people, Memorial Day is not about barbecues or sales, but rather a day to remember and honor those who gave their lives in the service of their country.

“It looks like America is being forgotten,” veteran Jim Aldea-Cruz said as he stood on the USS Hornet for a wreath laying ceremony. “We are celebrating the time when all these soldiers, sailors, airmen sacrificed their lives for our country. They believed in our country.”

With hundreds of people in attendance – many of whom were veterans themselves – the USS Hornet served as the backdrop to one of the many Memorial Day memories that took place in the Bay Area.

After a ceremony inside the ship, at the stern, the game of “Taps” accompanied the ceremonial casting of the crown in the bay.

In San Francisco, a similar scene took place at the Presidio, where an interfaith service was held to honor those lost in the war.

RELATED: Memorial Day Service Held At Mare Island Naval Cemetery To Honor Deceased Servicemen

“There will be families who have sons, brothers, husbands, wives who are gone, so this is a moment to remember,” said Richard Harris, of the Presidio Interfaith Center.

This year’s Memorial Day ceremony on the Hornet has taken on added significance given the past year.

“I am very encouraged to see us move into the post-COVID portion of this year,” said U.S. Air Force veteran Jon Haber. “It has been a very difficult year. But it is a special day and people recognize it in this area.”

“It’s very important,” said Aldea-Cruz. “We have to remember our roots. We have to remember what America stands for.”

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