The City of Oakley will hold its fifth Annual Memorial Day Observance Ceremony on Saturday, May 28th, 2016 at the Civic Center Park, 3231 Main Street beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Oakley’s program will include the Presentation of Colors, performance from the Freedom High School Choir, a student decoration of the memorial wreath, 3-volley salute, taps, and more! The event’s Memorial Day address will be delivered by Gene Stonebarger. Stonebarger is a long-time Oakley resident who served in WWII as part of the Army Air Corps, the military aviation arm that preceded the establishment of the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1947. Through his daughter, Stonebarger will share memories of old Oakley, as well as his assignments during the Second World War as a member of the 490th Bombardment Squadron also know as the “Burma Bridge Busters.”
Now in its fifth year, the City of Oakley invites the public to join together as a community to commemorate the American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines who have died while serving our nation. Although Oakley does not have a cemetery of soldiers’ graves to decorate, many Oakley residents and their families have borne the cost of our freedom. Accordingly, we will honor our fallen heroes’ devotion by presenting a memorial wreath to the symbolic Soldiers Battle Cross, representative of all who have perished, not a particular military branch or person. The cross made up of a soldier’s rifle with bayonet attached stuck into the ground, helmet on top, dog tags hanging and boots aside, are typically laid out in respect in the field. The gesture is a means for the still living veterans to mourn the loss of their soldiers in arms.