Wildomar hosts first-ever virtual Memorial Day ceremony

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Wildomar hold a virtual Memorial Day ceremony Monday, May 25, as members of Wildomar Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1508 ring a bell to honor fallen community members who died while serving in the country’s armed services. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Wildomar Mayor Dustin Nigg served as the master of ceremonies for the city’s virtual Memorial Day services, held Monday, May 25, at the Wildomar Cemetery.

The Rev. Ron Baum, pastor of Cornerstone Community Church, gave the opening prayer.

“From wherever you’re gathered today, let me invite you to pause and bow your heads and pray together,” Baum said. “Heavenly father, we are grateful that even in times like these that we can gather, by technology. Because it’s a day like today that we want to remember those that have served us well.”

Members of the Wildomar Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1508 performed the presentation of colors.

Wildomar Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1508 hangs a wreath of remembrance at Wildomar Cemetery during a virtual Memorial Day ceremony. Valley News/Courtesy photo
Jean’na Oliver signs the national anthem during Wildomar’s virtual Memorial Day ceremony. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Then, Nigg turned the microphone over to Jean’na Oliver for the national anthem. Taking the microphone again, Nigg said he was going to do something a little different this year.

“Better men have come before me that have lived through the birthing of our nation and were able to capture in words the true idea behind the United States of America,” he said. “So, I am going to read a few quotes from our Founding Fathers to help set the context of today on what our fallen brothers and sisters fought and ultimately died for, regardless of their generation.”

Nigg quoted John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and James Madison.

“If you can’t tell, the common theme here is freedom, liberty and how easy they are to lose,” Nigg said. “While you gather with your families this long weekend, set aside some time to say a prayer and keep in your mind that brave men and women who died to ensure our continued way of life, our constitutional republic, and most importantly our continued freedom and liberty.”

Wildomar Mayor Dustin Nigg gives a speech during a virtual Memorial Day ceremony. Valley News/Courtesy photo
Bugler Keith Larson plays taps during the city of Wildomar’s virtual Memorial Day ceremony. Valley News/Courtesy photo
The Rev. Ron Baum, pastor of Cornerstone Community Church, leads an opening prayer during Wildomar’s virtual Memorial Day ceremony. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Next, he quoted Gen. George Patton.

“On this Memorial Day, I ask everyone to thank God such men and women lived,” Nigg said. “And be grateful that throughout the history of our nation, there have always been patriots ready to nourish freedom’s tree with their life to ensure that this American experiment does not perish.”

Nigg has repeatedly said on the city council dais that actions taken by county and state governments designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus have, in his opinion, overstepped the constitutional rights of citizens.

“I think you all for watching. Please be safe, and go Wildomar,” Nigg said.

Roger Miller, post commander of VFW Post 1508, spoke next, remembering the fallen and reading the names of U.S. Army Pfc. Daniel Ray Parker, U.S. Marine Lt. Cpl. Justin T. Hunt, U.S. Army Sgt. Nathan K. Bouchard, and U.S. Marine Sgt. Eric M. Seaman as VFW members rang a bell in remembrance.

Then, the songs from each of the country’s armed services was played, and a wreath was placed.

Baum gave the closing prayer, and bugler Keith Larson sounded taps.

“Thank you for joining us today in remembrance of our fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives for our great nation,” Wilson said and invited local veterans to join the Wildomar VFW post.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.