The Murrieta community is invited to join in honoring our nation's veterans and paying tribute to the fallen heroes at the upcoming Memorial Day Observance Ceremony on Monday, May 29, 2023. The event will take place at 8 a.m. at the Murrieta Veterans Memorial located at Town Square Park and Amphitheater.
The ceremony will feature the presentation of colors by the Vista Murrieta High School Air Force JROTC and the singing of the National Anthem by Mikayla Sanborn, Luana Eliaba, and Gracie Sanborn. It will also include an invocation by Murrieta Police Department Chaplain Reginald C. Wadlington and salutatory remarks by Murrieta Mayor Lisa DeForest, honoring the selfless service of our veterans. The keynote address will be delivered by Sergeant Major Bryan T. Vaughn (Ret.), a highly decorated Marine Corps Veteran with an exceptional military career. The ceremony will conclude with the laying of the wreaths by the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore Lori Stone.
Sergeant Major Vaughn, born and raised in Rantoul, Illinois, served in the United States Marine Corps for 22 years. He enlisted in 1982 and went on to receive numerous accolades, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medals, Combat "V," Navy Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon. His extensive experience and personal insights will undoubtedly inspire and remind us of the sacrifices made by service members who paid the ultimate price.
Attendees are encouraged to pay their respects to remember the four Murrieta sons who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country or in aid to others at the Murrieta Fallen Warriors Monument:
- Nicholas Gideon, July 6, 2009, Army, Operation Enduring Freedom
- Eric Williams, July 23, 2012, Airborne, Operation Enduring Freedom
- Clinton Ruiz, October 25, 2012, Airborne, Operation Enduring Freedom
- Eric Seaman, May 12, 2015, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469, Charikot, Nepal
The Rotary Club of Murrieta will also post their Local Heroes flags near the memorial. The Local Heroes flags are dedicated to military personnel from Riverside and San Bernardino counties who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003. A ribbon on each flag notes each service member’s branch of service (Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, or Navy), rank (Private to Major), name, age, hometown, and date of death. This year, 131 flags will represent local men and women who gave their lives.