Memorial Day Flowers 2017 at San Francisco & Miramar National Cemeteries

It's a simple tribute – stand in front of a gravesite, read the headstone, place the flower and step to the next grave site.  Read the soldier's name, rank, branch of service, dates of birth and passing.  Do it out loud or under your breath.  It's a personal choice, because it's a personal tribute.

We recap here CalFlowers' 2017 support of two National Cemeteries in California.  The organization directly facilitated planning, coordination, and assisting the Memorial Day Flower Foundation with the recruitment of volunteers and flowers that were placed on grave sites.

 

For the third year in a row, CalFlowers is honored to be a sponsor of Memorial Day Flowers.  In 2017, we were able to increase our sponsorship and support to again have a presence at Arlington National Cemetery, outside of Washington, D.C.  Flowers from California, South America, and Africa were placed by more than 800 volunteers on approximately 160,000 grave sites. CalFlowers also provided support to these other National Cemeteries:

  • Arizona National Cemetery (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Sacramento Valley National Cemetery (Dixon, CA)
  • Fort Snelling National Cemetery (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Houston National Cemetery (Houston, TX)

CalFlowers would like to thank the 200+ volunteers and scouts who participated over Memorial Day weekend in San Diego and San Francisco to be part of this special tribute to and remembrance of those who gave so much so we can enjoy the blessings of living in a democracy.

We would also like the thank the National Cemetery Administration for their support and especially thank the staff and crew at each cemetery.  At the San Francisco National Cemetery, special thanks go to the management and staff of the Presidio Trust who oversaw the general ceremony that brought a record number of attendees to this year's ceremonies. (By this observer's estimation, nearly 2,500 attended this year's event.)  One of the distinguished speakers at San Francisco's ceremony was veteran Joshua Mantz, a 2005 graduate of West Point and an Infantry Officer in the Army for a decade. He led a highly successful counterinsurgency campaign in Baghdad until 2007 when he was severely wounded in a sniper attack. Joshua is the recipient of the Bronze Star of Valor and the Purple Heart.  Among other topics, Mantz talked about making Memorial Day personal between those who serve and civilians.  We like to think Memorial Day Flowers helps do that.

Miramar National Cemetery – May 28, 2017

With financial donations from the public and through the generous donations from Dramm & Echter and Dos Gringos (California), Queens Group (Colombia and Ecuador), Passion Growers (Colombia), and Sunrise Flowers (Ethiopia), CalFlowers placed a flower on each of the cemetery's 14,000 headstones.  Chris Johnson, Director of Transportation for CalFlowers, and Mike Mooney, President of CalFlowers Board of Directors and Dramm & Echter executive, coordinated this incredible tribute with the assistance of 120 local volunteers and scouts - bless those Boy & Girl Scouts!

A father introducing his young son to the
tradition of paying respect to military service.

Perhaps remembering a friend ...


Miramar National Cemetery • May 28, 2017

 

San Francisco National Cemetery – May 29, 2017

With nearly $2,000 in cash donations from generous individuals as well as the generous floral donations of CalFlowers' member growers (Dramm & Echter, Frank Biddle International, Holland America Farms and Kitayama Brothers), we were able to increase our distribution three-fold this year and place more than 6,000 stems on grave sites at the San Francisco National Cemetery.  Of course, none of this would have been possible without the flower processing and delivery by Mt. Eden wholesaler of San Jose, who donated their services.

We are also extremely grateful to vets from the following local companies who turned out in good numbers to pay their tributes that day:  Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Tesla, and The Clorox Company.  Of course, who can forget Boy Scout Troop 15 who marched in the procession leading to the ceremony and provided an honor guard to carry a wreath for Gold Star Family Norma and Dennis Viglienzone to honor their son PFC Caesar Viglienzone.

 

The day's tribute began with a procession from the historic Officers' Club in the Presidio to the cemetery with the above wreath-guard, followed by guests in historic US military uniforms to represent the many generations of soldiers interred at San Francisco National Cemetery.

 

 

 

The day’s tribute ended having honored those who have served our country in the most personal way possible: paying our respects and adding beauty to their final resting place.

 
San Francisco National Cemetery • May 29, 2017