FAIRFIELD — Local veterans will honor those who died while defending the country at a half-dozen Memorial Day ceremonies from Vallejo to Dixon this weekend.
Fairfield and Suisun City veterans moved their Monday morning ceremony to Suisun City’s waterfront because its traditional location in front of the old Solano County Courthouse is closed off due to construction.
The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. across the street from the Suisun City Veterans Memorial Building, 427 Main St., according to its organizers. The guest speaker will be Korean War veteran and retired Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Jesse Branch.
After the Suisun City ceremony, the veterans will go to the Suisun-Fairfield Cemetery and then the Rockville Cemetery for smaller ceremonies in front of the veterans’ graves there. They will then return to the Veterans Memorial Building for a potluck.
The veterans are expected back at their traditional location for the 2015 Memorial Day ceremony, because the renovation of the county courthouse is expected to be completed this summer.
Vacaville veterans will begin their ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday at the Vacaville-Elmira Cemetery at 522 Elmira Road, with retired California Highway Patrol officer and former Army Staff Sgt. Emmett Spraktes as the guest speaker. Spraktes served in the Navy Reserve and the California Army National Guard with deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Also present at the ceremony will be the area Gold Star Mothers and Families, Blue Star Moms, the Vanden High School Air Force Junior ROTC and 2013 Boys State and Girls State Citizens.
Benicia will have its ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday at the Benicia Arsenal Cemetery on Birch Road. The Benicia veterans will host a barbecue afterward at the Benicia Veterans Hall.
The Sacramento Valley National Ceremony at 5810 Midway Road in Dixon will have its ceremony at 9 a.m., with the Travis Air Force Base band providing music. Memorial Programs Service Director Anita Hansen and California Deputy Secretary for Communications and Legislation J.P. Tremblay will speak.
People will put flags on each of the grave sites starting at 9 a.m. Saturday. Volunteers are welcome to come out and help. They are also welcome to return Tuesday to collect and store the flags.
Vallejo will have its ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday at the Veterans Memorial near Vallejo City Hall at 555 Santa Clara St.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.