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American River Messenger

Ceremony Honors Veterans

May 07, 2024 11:08AM ● By Judy Andrews, photos by Judy Andrews

Left to right, Riley Groeschel, Mike Maquette, and Kurt Baird will lead the parade.

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - The Fair Oaks Cemetery District will host its 25th annual Memorial Day Ceremony from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 25, to pay tribute to veterans and fallen soldiers.

This year’s theme will honor women in time of war between the American Revolutionary War and World War II. A guest speaker will be Eagle Scout Lily Rodriguez from local Boy Scouts of America Troop 380.

Under the direction of Elizabeth Ruygt, Troop 380 has participated in this Memorial Day weekend tradition for the past 18 years.

“The ceremony started out small and just grew from there,” Ruygt said. “Each year, we come up with a new theme of interest to families. For this milestone 25th anniversary, we chose to feature women and their wartime contributions over the past 250 years.”

Fair Oaks Cemetery District Memorial Day Ceremony

 The Fair Oaks Cemetery District has hosted the annual Memorial Day Ceremony since 1999.

Other special guest speakers attending will be Congressman Ami Bera and State Sen. Roger Niello.

The ceremony will kick off with its traditional parade led by bag pipers and drummer Riley Groeschel, Mike Marquette and Kurt Baird. Speaker presentations will follow with a welcome and introductions from Chairperson Pete Schroeder, Fair Oaks Cemetery District Board of Trustees.

Troop 380 will conduct the flag ceremony portion of the event. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6158 and the American Legion Post 383 will conduct the Wreath Laying Ceremony.

A special engraved bench dedication, in honor of Ray Young, will immediately follow the service. Young founded the annual Memorial Day Ceremony in 1999.

wreath laying Veterans of Foreign Wars

 This year’s wreath laying ceremony will be conducted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6158 and American Legion Post 383.

The planning committee would like to acknowledge Barbara Roper and volunteers for providing refreshments, and Clean and Sober Living in Fair Oaks for being a large part of the ceremony over the years.

The Fair Oaks Cemetery District was established in 1902 and is located at 7780 Olive St., Fair Oaks. Veterans and their families, neighbors and community members are welcome to attend the ceremony and service on May 25.

bagpipe players drummer Kurt Baird Mike Marquette Riley Groeschel

 Bagpipe players and drummer are, from left, Kurt Baird, Mike Marquette and Riley Groeschel.