Holtville Celebrates Memorial Day
BY SHAWN CARROLL
Holtville residents gathered to remember lost family and friends at a solemn ceremony on Memorial Day morning.
This is the fourth year that the local American Legion post has staged the event, ensuring that the men whose names are inscribed on the memorial marker in Holt Park are never forgotten.
“Something has changed about the way Americans think about their heroes,” guest speaker U.S. Navy Lt. Joshua Wilhite told the crowd. For too long, Memorial Day was just the end of a three day weekend and a chance to have a barbeque to start summer. But with so many new names added to memorials throughout the country because of our recent wars, the true meaning of the day has hit home for our nation.
Kim Vincent is the president of the local post and welcomed a large crowd for the ceremony. The post is named in honor of two local men killed in battle, Noland W. Bradley in World War I and Howard V. Keffer in World War II.
Holtville Mayor Mike Goodsell gave a short speech and District 5 Supervisor Ray Castillo sang and played God Bless America on his guitar, and the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Post presented the flags for all five branches of the armed forces.
Carlos Zaragoza related personal remembrances of many of those whose names are on Holtville’s memorial, including his brother, Victor.
“We age but they remain forever young in our hearts and our minds,” he reminded the crowd.
The most moving part of the ceremony was the roll call, as it is every year. After memorial wreaths were placed in front of the memorial by members of the American Legion Auxiliary and Daughters of the American Revolution, Vincent read their names. Retired Army Sgt. Julio Castro replied “No answer” after each name since they are no longer with us.