We have the distinction of having the oldest Memorial Day Observance in Orange County, California. The Fullerton Memorial Day observance began in 1939 when C. Stanley Chapman, a World War I veteran and son of the city’s first mayor, Charles Chapman, began the tradition of placing a small white wooden cross and a small American flag at the grave of each veteran at Loma Vista Memorial Park. Every year, about 40 veterans and service organizations under the banner of the American Veterans Memorial Association sponsor ceremonies at Loma Vista. Over 600 community volunteers place nearly 4,000 flags and crosses on veteran’s graves each year.
Our Memorial Day themes have included: POWs/MIAs featuring Mrs. Sybil Stockdale (wife of Commander James Stockdale); Astronauts, Dan Bursch, U.S. Navy, NASA Astronaut; Medal of Honor recipient, Mitchell Paige. U.S.M..C; Chaplains in the Service, the USO, Coast Guard, Peace Officers, Nurses, Submariners, Merchant Marines, Firefighters, and Men and Women of the Air Corps. In 2010, the speaker was GEN Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., United States Marines Corps., who went on to become the Commandant of the Marine Corps. and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Avenue of Flags is one of our Memorial Day traditions. Large flags, which have been donated to Loma Vista Memorial Park by the families of interred veterans, fly high in front of the park along Bastanchury Road, and throughout the park creating a beautiful picture.
We hold an annual Easter Sunrise Service sponsored by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and Loma Vista Memorial Park.