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Memorial Day observed in east valley ceremony Monday

Memorial Day ceremonies have long been held at the Coachella Valley Public Cemetery in the east valley.

A respectful crowd gathered at its Veterans Memorial Wall Monday to honor those men and women who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces. 

This Coachella ceremony has been a tradition of more than 20 years.

Ernesto Rosales, Coachella Valley Public Cemetery District said, "I have an uncle who served in Vietnam and he has a very commemorative plaque here so it's very important."

"It makes me feel honored to stand amongst the ones that are here paying respects to the fallen and remembering them as well," said Adias Garcia Jr. Retired US Army adding, "because that's what we're here for is to remember them so they know they're not forgotten."

There was a ceremonial reading of the folds then an overhead fly-by of the Palm Springs Air Museum's Douglas C-47 Skytrain.

Numerous patriotic wreaths were laid in front of the memorial wall. 

Raymond Cano, Chaplain of 40th Infantry Division, California National Guard -- said, "So it's important to just show up from generation to generation to appreciate our freedoms that were given to us by though are defended by those who gave the price." 

There was also a 21-gun salute followed by a bugler playing Taps. 

Local Scouts also placed American flags on the graves of every veteran buried in the cemetery-- a number that stands now at more than a thousand. 

Michael Abril, Scout Master Troop 1701 in Indian Wells said, "We come out every year and place flags along the headstones of all veterans, just to show our respect, and honor Memorial Day."

It was a somber moment of tribute and a learning experience for many young scouts.

See our complete Memorial Day coverage on KESQ News Channel 3.

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Jeff Stahl

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