Annual Memorial Ceremony This Sunday, May 26th

A turning point in the Battle for the Pacific, Guadalcanal marked the end of the southern march of Imperial Japanese forces towards the resource rich continent of Australia. This was a hard-fought campaign with great losses on both sides, and the sacrifices of the men of the USS San Francisco during this battle are honored during this annual event. Every year on the Sunday before Memorial Day out at beautiful Lands End overlooking the Golden Gate, the survivors of the USS San Francisco (CA-38) come together along with friends, family, and service members from all the uniformed branches to pay tribute to our Veterans past and present. The program, held at the USS San Francisco Memorial, is a formal and solemn event attended by a couple of hundred observers and attendees; the program focuses on a Chair of Honor recipient and is designed as a tribute to the officers and sailors of this great ship that lost their lives during the naval battle at Guadalcanal.

The Chair of Honor

Sgt. Robert B. Ward, USMC

This year our program will honor Sgt. Robert B. Ward, USMC, being given the “Chair of Honor.” The Memorial Foundation is privileged to have Sgt. Ward’s son Jeffrey Bruce Ward represent his father and will speak to his memory and his time serving on the USS San Francisco during the Battle of Guadalcanal.

The Battle of Guadalcanal

Few people know that our City’s namesake, the USS San Francisco (CA-38), was one of the most decorated ships of the Second World War. In November of 1942 the USS San Francisco was the flagship of Rear Admiral Daniel Callaghan, a San Francisco native and graduate of Saint Ignatius. Admiral Callaghan in the pitch dark of night steered the San Francisco and her group of ships to take on the Imperial Japanese fleet that was to shell the unprotected Marines freshly landed on the beaches of Guadalcanal.  He knew the mission was suicide, and chose to defend the lives of the Marines on those beaches at all cost. Our Memorial Event celebrates the life of Admiral Callaghan and the lives of all those officers and sailors that died that night in a selfless act of courage and sacrifice. As we stand out at Land’s End we remember all those who left our great city through our Golden Gate never to return to the land they helped keep safe for us.

The Table of Honor

Each year, fewer and fewer of our Second World War survivors can join us and while they are still able, we feel fortunate to be able to honor them at this ceremony. New this year, we are encouraging friends and families of those who served on the USS San Francisco (CA-38) to bring framed photographs for a Table of Honor, celebrating the lives and service of those brave souls. The complete schedule of events is as follows:

2019 USS San Francisco Memorial Program

  • Pre-Ceremony Music 11:30 am
    • US Naval Sea Cadet Corps Band of The West
  • Parade of Colors 12 noon
    • Color Guards
  • National Anthem
    • Mare Island Chorale
  • Pledge of Allegiance and Invocation
    • Michael Pappas Exec. Director San Francisco Interfaith Council
  • Post Colors
    • Color Guards
  • Welcome and Master of Ceremony
    • John A. McKnight, President, USS San Francisco Memorial Foundation
  • VIP Speakers Remarks
    • Supervisor Catherine Stefani, District 2 Supervisor
    • Mr. Isaiah Mall, Chief Information Officer CalVet
    • Mr. Tomochika Uyama, Consul General of Japan
  • Keynote Address
    • Raquel R. Solano, Deputy Consul General of Philippines
  • Lifetime Service Award – Hon. Quentin Kopp
    • Sgt Don Reid, USMC
  • Chair of Honor Introductions
    • LtGen Jan Huly USMC (Ret.), CEO Marines Memorial Club and Hotel
  • Chair of Honor
    • Robert B. Ward, USMC Represented by his son Jeffrey Bruce Ward
    • Award Presentation by Foundation President
    • Presentation of Flag to family by Golden Gate Young Marines
  • Missing Man Ceremony
    • Donald F. Reid, USMC
  • Roll Call and Bell Ceremony
    • CAPT Stanley E. Ellexson, Jr., USN (Ret) and Sea Cadet Corps Band of The West
  • Taps & Echo
    • US Naval Sea Cadet Corps Band of The West
  • Navy Hymn/America The Beautiful
    • Mare Island Chorale
  • Benediction
    • Bob Butchart, VFW Post 4618 Chaplain
  • Amazing Grace
    • Lynne S. Miller, H.O.B.
  • Raffle and Call for Support
    • Mr. Steve Stevens, Vice President, USS San Francisco Memorial Foundation
  • Gratitude and Closing Comments
    • John A. McKnight, President, USS San Francisco Memorial Foundation
  • Retire Colors 1:30 pm
    • Color Guards
  • Photo Opportunities
    • “Frisco” Veterans Gather
  • Celebratory Music
    • US Naval Sea Cadet Corps Band of The West

 

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