For its seventh annual Memorial Day celebration, La Vista Memorial Park is honoring the nation’s women veterans of the past and present.
Luisa McCarthy, general manager of La Vista Memorial Park, said that honoring women veterans on the day of remembrance is important because women played a large role in giving the country the freedoms it has today.
“From the beginning of time we’ve had many women serving, not just holding a firearm, but tending to the needs of the people as nurses, as administrators,” McCarthy said.
“We have not seen too much praise of the women in general; we wanted to make sure that this year, they know that they are being recognized and we appreciate everything that they do.”
McCarthy said during the celebration she is going to call on all women veterans in attendance to stand. She said she hopes this will show those attending the celebration that there are many women who have helped America gain its freedom.
While the event is dedicated to the women, La Vista is honoring all of its veterans by having more than 21 Pearl Harbor survivors with their families at the event, the survivors will make their appearance riding in on an old trolley.
They will also lead the two-bell ceremony.
Having Pearl Harbor survivors at the Memorial Day celebration is an honor, McCarthy said.
“That’s history right there, that’s history in front of you,” she said.
The 82nd Airbone Division is making an appearance to execute the rifle salute.
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Navy Commander Patrica Witherspoon are the keynote speakers.
Other dignitaries scheduled to attend include California Sen. Ben Hueso and National City Mayor Ron Morrison.
McCarthy said an event like this incorporates the community to make La Vista more than a cemetery.
“It’s very rare that people come to a cemetery when it’s not (because of ) the loss of a loved one. So we are turning that around and making it very community oriented and to celebrate life in many ways.”
The event is open to the public. La Vista’s free Memorial Day celebration starts at 1 p.m. at 3191 Orange St. in National City.