Former and current veterans gathered at the Santa Clara Veterans Memorial in Central Park for a Memorial Day ceremony on May 25.
With dignitaries, Congressman Mike Honda and Assemblymember Kansen Chu in attendance, Gunnery Sergeant Denny Weisgerber, USMC retired, gave the afternoon’s keynote speech and Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews and Council Member Pat Kolstad placed the memorial wreath donated by Unite 419 of the American Legion Auxiliary.
As always, attendees paid their respects to those who have lost their lives by leaving flowers and other tributes on the bricks surrounding the memorial.
“Today was the day of his [husband, Bob Ruch, US Navy 1942-63] passing, 10 years ago today, and the real Memorial Day, the 30th, is his birthday,” said Marilyn Walthers who brought a vase of flowers with three flags. “I have three flags for World War II, Korea and North Vietnam, and he served in all of them – and the Bay of Pigs, too.”
She continued, “My husband loved this [his brick]. He was very, very sick [when I purchased it]. I said let’s go over to Central Park and walk around. So we came over and I said, ‘look at this beautiful memorial. Why don’t we sit down?’ We were sitting down and he was looking down and thought it was so touching and wonderful. Then he saw his name and he gasped and he cried and said, ‘that’s the most wonderful thing that anyone has ever done for me.’ So he got to see it and I’m so happy. He loved it. He absolutely loved it.”
The Veterans Memorial is at 909 Kiely Blvd. Visit www.santaclaraveteransmemorial.com for more information.