By Alvin Salge

Commander, VFW Post 7139


On Memorial Day weekend we remember and honor all service men and women who gave their lives to protect us, our freedom, and our way of life during all wars from the Civil War to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

On Saturday, May 26, crosses and VFW medallions will be placed on veterans’ graves at the Santa Ines Mission, Chalk Hill, Oak Hill, and Saint Mark’s cemeteries.

At Oak Hill over 900 veteran graves will be decorated starting at 9 a.m..  The public is invited to view or assist this solemn observance.

VFW Post 7139 members will hand out red poppies at the front of Albertson’s in Buellton from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, May 26-27.  The red poppies were first distributed after World War I to honor the service men and women who perished in that war.

On Memorial Day, May 28, American Legion Post 160 will conduct short ceremonies at 10 a.m. in Chalk Hill, 10:30 a.m. in Santa Ines Mission, 11 a.m. in Oak Hill, and 11:30 a.m. in Saint Mark’s cemeteries.

VFW Post 7139 will conduct a hallowed VFW Memorial Day ceremony at noon at the Solvang Park flagpole.  The ceremony will honor all veterans, but especially those who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

The ceremony will include the Santa Ynez Valley Wind Ensemble; a senior officer from Vandenberg Air Force Base; Navy Capt. Charlie Plumb, a Vietnam War prisoner of war; other veterans of Vietnam and World War II; members of American Legion Post 160; Boy Scouts; and a fly-over by vintage military aircraft.

A barbecue hosted by the Solvang Vikings for veterans and their families will follow the ceremony.

The Memorial Day remembrance includes a 229-year span in some 60 military actions that claimed 1.4 million lives.

Sacrifice is meaningless without remembrance. America’s collective consciousness demands that all citizens be aware of, and recall on special occasions, the deaths of their countrymen during and after wartime. All valley veterans, residents, and their families are invited to come and join in these solemn events.

For more information, go to or call Alvin Salge of the VFW at 805- 693-9133 or Jeff McKeone of the American Legion at 805-896-7600.