As Memorial Day approaches on Monday, May 26, Fallbrook area residents will have two opportunities to pay tribute to the military men and women who died while serving to keep citizens of the United States safe.
A Civil War-themed historical remembrance will be offered on Saturday, May 24, at 10 a.m. at Odd Fellows Cemetery at the corner of West Clemmens Lane and Alturas Road. Memorial Day was formerly known as Decoration Day, as it originated after the Civil War to commemorate Union and Confederate soldiers who perished in that conflict. This event, presented by the Sgt. William Pittenger Camp 21 of The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, is educational in nature and open to the public. Due to the uneven ground surface, guests are encouraged to wear flat-soled shoes.
On Monday, May 26, at 11 a.m., a traditional Memorial Day observance and program, sponsored by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1924, will be held at the Masonic Cemetery, located at 1177 Santa Margarita Drive.
At the event, the MCAS Miramar Gunfighter Squadron Color Guard will present the Colors. Patriotic music will be provided by the Fallbrook Chorale, the Fallbrook Garden Club will provide flowers, and Marine motorcyclists will be present to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the armed service. “Taps” will be played by the Buglers of America.
Local student, Jack LeFavour will read his winning Patriot’s Pen (Voice of Democracy) essay, “What Democracy Means to Me” to the audience.
Keynote speaker for the event will be Colonel Michael E. Cordero, USMC commanding officer, headquarters and support battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
Cordero, who has served in the Marine Corps since 1984, has earned a significant number of medals, including the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars in lieu of a third award, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with one gold star in lieu of a second award, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars in lieu of a third award, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal with one bronze star in lieu of a second award.
He served in deployments to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait during Operation Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Desert Saber. He also served in Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.