Birkholm’s Bakery in Solvang has a wall dedicated this weekend to Santa Ynez Valley residents who served in the military and should be remembered this weekend.

‘Sacrifice is meaningless without remembrance’

by Alvin Salge

On Memorial Day weekend (May 27-29 this year), we remember and honor all service men and women who gave their lives to protect us, our freedom, and way of life during all wars from the Civil War to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

On Saturday, May 27, crosses and VFW medallions will be placed on Veterans’ graves at the Mission Santa Ines, Chalk Hill, Oak Hill, and Saint Mark’s cemeteries.


At Oak Hill more than 800 veteran graves will be decorated starting at 9 a.m.  The public is invited to view or assist in this solemn observance.

VFW Post 7139 members will hand out red poppies at the front of Albertsons in Buellton from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, May 27-28. 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 29, American Legion Post 160 will conduct short ceremonies at 10 a.m. at Chalk Hill, 10:30 a.m. at Mission Santa Ines, 11 a.m. at Oak Hill, and 11:30 at Saint Mark’s cemeteries.

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

The ceremony will include Valley Wind Ensemble; Rear Admiral Brian Brown, Vice Commander, Joint Forces Component Command for Space, from Vandenberg Air Force Base; Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans; American Legion Post 160; Boy Scouts; and a fly-over of vintage military aircraft.

A barbecue hosted by the Vikings of Solvang 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.

Alvin Salge is commander of VFW Post 7139. Log onto for more information.