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May 29, 2017 - Memorial Day Event

Montclair City Hall, Montclair, California

 

montclair memoria garden memorial day 2017 resultThe City of Montclair has a long-established custom of proudly commemorating Memorial Day that includes the recognition of new names to be added to their Veterans’ Memorial Wall.montclair memorial colorguard salutes 2017 result Annually, each Memorial Day, at the Memorial Garden, (located adjacent to Montclair City Hall,) Montclair remembers the outstanding courage and commitment of her citizens who have “given so much to our great country.”

Guests arrived to a well-planned, and well-attended commemoration. guests and dignataries at montclair memorial day 2017 resultDignitaries included a U.S. Congresswoman, a California State Senator, California Assembly Member, a Co-Director of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force, an L.A. County Supervisor, distinguished veterans, and city and monclair hs junior rotc color guard awaits memorial day 2017 resultflagraising at memorial day 2017 resultcommunity officers. In an exemplary ceremony, worthy of any city to model, the Montclair Memorial Day Program for May 29, 2017, proceeded with a welcome, an dignateries 2017 montclair memorial day resultinvocation by the Montclair Police Chaplin (Vicki Brobeck,) and a presentation of the colors by Montclair High School’s Junior ROTC. After Retired Master Sergeant Arturo Padilla led the Pledge of Allegiance, a barbershop quartet, The Dudesbarbershop and audience 2017 montclair memorial day result of Four Tunes, sang the National Anthem in wonderful harmony. Montclair Community Action Committee Chair, Laurie Milhiser then introduced Mayor Paul M. Eaton who acknowledged all of the participants and thanked all in attendance after delivering his Memorial Day message.

walkers choral sings 2017 montclair memorial day resultNext, in colorful red and white outfits, the Walkers Choral Group, a collection of senior voices from throughout the city, then sang selections of patriotic songs.

 

bill betten gives keynote address at 2017 montclair memorial day eventThen the World War 1 Centennial Anniversary Commemoration was delivered by Bill Betten, Co-Director of the WW1 Centennial Task Force, as the keynote address. Bill told the story of a farm boy and his younger brother 100 years ago, who were sent to Fort Riley, Kansas before shipping off to France, first crossing the treacherous submarine infested waters of the Atlantic. Both fought in the same division in the Battle of Belleau Wood where the younger brother was severely wounded, but the farmboy continued on to fight in almost every major battle the Americans were in.

A little more than a month before thebill betten keynote speaker at 2017 montclair memorial day event result Armistice, He was shot in the chest and left for dead. The Germans picked up the body, and threw him on the dead wagon. When he came to, he pulled himself from under the bodies, struggled to escape the Germans, and crawled back across No-Man’s-Land where he was gassed. Co-Director Betten explained that it was near miraculous that he survived to return home to become the speaker’s own grandfather.

keynote address bill betten at 2017 montclair memorial day event resultBill then reminded the audience that WW1 was hardly anything like the average person considers war to be. The numbers were astonishing, considering the few months U.S. soldiers fought. Over 280,000 dead or wounded, with many more who came home with “shellshock,” what we now call PTSD. Maintaining lasting relationships was hard. Both brothers found keeping a job difficult, as many WW1 veterans did, especially those who had been gassed. Decades later their cousin, who had also been gassed, finally died of emphysema. Still, they were all keynote speaker bill betten at 2017 montclair memorial day event resultproud to say they had served their country for the sake of freedom.

Bill closed with a short history of the origins of Memorial Day that began with the decorating of the graves. He then explained how similar to that are the important goals of the United States World War One Centennial Commission and the California World War One Centennial Task Force in finding the lost WW1 memorials across the nation, building a monument to those who served in WW1 on the National Mall in Washington DC, and commemorating their memory in what we do today.

one half of the audience 2017 montclair resultMontclair officials then honored the individuals who had plaques on the city’s Veterans’ Memorial Wall, and paid tribute to deceased Montclair veterans from all branches of service with a ringing of the Fireplacing the wreath memorial day montclair 2017 result Department’s bell at the reading of each name on the wall, including the new names listed this year. The wall remains an ongoing dedication to those citizens of Montclair who served their country during any war or peacetime. This commemoration climaxed with a placing of a glorious wreath presented by Mayor Eaton.

councilman ruh reads flanders fields resultMontclair City Council Member Bill Ruh was supported by Community Action Committee Members in a reading of Lt. Col. John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields followed by the barbershop quartetbarbershop quartet sings patriotic medly 2017 montclair memorial day result singing a medley of patriotic hymns. After closing with a few words, Taps was played by a live trumpeter.taps being played 2017 montclair memorial day result Then all in attendance were invited to the nearby Senior Center Hall to enjoy a BBQ and examine Bill Betten’s World War 1 display.

 

 While guests enjoyed a lunch of Barbecue, they could peruse the California WW1 Centennial Task Force table with items for sale with proceeds going to support the Task Force and raise funds for the new WW1 monument on the Capitol Mall in Washington DC. The wide variety of artifactsbill and joni betten share artifacts info result on display also triggered countless inquiries. Numerous individuals spent time at the display tables asking many questions of Bill and his wife co director bill betten answers a question resultJoni Betten on the history of the war and the artifacts presented.

 

 

 

 

 

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California WW1 Centennial Task Force

 

Managing Board Co-Directors

Bill Betten
Sal Compagno
Col. Andre N. Coulombe
Hugh E. Crooks, Jr.
Mike Hanlon
Brigadier General R.G. Head, Ph.D. USAF (Ret.)
Prof. Jennifer Keene, Ph.D
Courtland Jindra
Dennis Matarrese
Major General Michael J. Myatt USMC (Ret.)
Stephen M. Payne, Ph.D.
Anthony Powell
Lester Probst
Prof. Jonathan Roth, Ph.D.
Col. Fred Rutledge 

Northern California Committee

Sal Compagno
Mike Hanlon
Stephen M. Payne, Ph.D.
Lt. Col. Kenneth Nielsen
Major General Michael J. Myatt USMC (Ret.)

Anthony Powell
Col. Fred Rutledge
Prof. Jonathan Roth, Ph.D.

Southern California Committee

Bill Betten
Maria Carrillo
Col. Andre N. Coulombe
Brigadier General R.G. Head, Ph.D. USAF (Ret.) 
Courtland Jindra
Lester Probst
Jeff Sharp

 Education Committee

Bill Betten, Master of Arts in Education, (Retired teacher DUSD, OUSD, AGUSD)
Lauren Weiss Bricker, Ph.D., Professor of Architecture at Cal State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Scott Corbett, Ph.D, Lecturer, History, CSUCI
Jennifer Keene, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of History, Chapman University
Michael Powelson, Ph.D., Lecturer, History, CSUCI
Jonathan Roth, Ph.D., Professor of History, SJSU, Burdick Military History Project Director [Committee Chair]
Miriam Raub Vivian, Ph.D.,  Professor of History, CSUB

Website Administrator

Bill Betten

 

Email: courtland.jindra@worldwar1centennial.org

Snail Mail:
     California World War 1Centennial Task Force
     330 Myrtlewood Dr.
     Calimesa, CA 92320

 

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