Calexico ceremony aims for the heart of Memorial Day

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Calexico Police officers salute to the flag for the Memorial Day service at Mountain View Cemetery in Calexico. Photo by Daniella Rodiles

CALEXICO — City officials, veterans, and community supporters gathered at Mountain View Cemetery Monday morning for a breakfast and ceremony for fallen soldiers and veterans of Calexico in commemoration of Memorial Day. Calexico’s Baja Runners and volunteers placed flags on all veterans’ tombs on sunrise followed by a breakfast sponsored by the City of Calexico.

The American Legion Post No. 90, the Veterans Foreign War Post 1637, and AM Vets from Heber organized this year’s annual ceremony.

The Color Guard from the Calexico Police Department initiated the ceremony with a presentation of colors as AM Vets members presented a rifle salute and lowered the flag to a half-staff position. Calexico police officers placed a wreath in front of the flag in tribute to those who gave their lives in service for our country.

Mauricio Magallanes Jr., commander of the Veterans Foreign War Post 1637 of Calexico, expressed with gratitude how the history of Memorial Day has impacted generations and families since the earliest days of the United States.

“We are truly fortunate to live in a country where we’re afforded a way of life. Remember, there has been no other nation on earth whose sacrifice has been greater than ours.”

“None who has given so much to afford freedom for others. We honor the dead by helping the living and carrying for those who have returned from the wars and continue to fight their own personal battles,” said Magallanes.

Lewis Pacheco, commander of American Legion Post No. 90, told the public how grateful and honored he was to be part of this country, as he himself is a fellow veteran.

“May the ceremony of this morning deepen your preferences for our departed friends and families. Let us be new of pledge and loyalty to our country and its flag.”

Veterans and the families stood up in respectful silence in remembrance of those mentioned veterans who resided in Calexico.

As the sun continued to rise higher above the horizon, Javier Pacheco, commander of AM Vets, encouraged the community to keep honoring veterans and to bring a friend for next year’s Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Magallanes concluded the service by presenting a certificate in recognition of their renamed organization now called Lieutenant Carl A. Vindiola Post No. 1637, in honor of past commander Lit. Carl A. Vindiola who passed away.

“The community has been very supportive. Many travel from San Diego to be a part of this service. This day is to educate the youth on the history of Memorial Day. It’s not just a holiday or a big sale, it’s a day that means a lot to us who have served or to someone who lost a person who has served,” said Magallanes.