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Dedication of the California LGBTQ Veterans Memorial
April 27 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 amFree Admission
The dedication ceremony for the new California LGBTQ Veterans Memorial will be held on Saturday April 27, 2019 in Cathedral City, California. In 2018 the California state legislature and Governor Jerry Brown approved Assembly Bill (AB) 2439 introduced by State Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia to designate America’s first LGBT Veterans Memorial at Desert Memorial Park a state memorial. California is the first state to have a memorial to honor the sacrifices of LGBTQ who died in our nation’s wars. AMVETS Post 66 dedicated this memorial at a public cemetery operated by the Palm Springs Cemetery District in 2001.
The unveiling and dedication ceremony will be at Desert Memorial Park which is located at 31-705 Da Vall Drive in Cathedral City. The dedication ceremony is also a memorial wreath–laying ceremony to honor our LGBTQ war dead and deceased veterans. This ceremony will begin at 9:00 AM and is free and open to the public. Master of Ceremonies for the solemn event are Tom Swann Hernandez and Laura Meeks of AMVETS Post 66. Featured speakers include Rep. Mark Takano, Chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Also Dr. Vito Imbasciani, Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs. (CDVA). Also speaking are State Assembly Members Eduardo Garcia and Chad Mayes. Local Mayors and the Director of the Palm Springs Cemetery District (Kathleen Jurasky) will also be speaking. Desert Winds Freedom Band will perform. Memorial flower wreaths will be placed by veteran organizations and elected officials at the memorial which is a mahogany granite obelisk. Doves will be released to fly upwards like a soul being lifted to heaven in memory of many famous people including World War II Navy veteran Cesar Chavez, San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk who was a Navy officer, Air Force Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, Cathedral City Mayor Greg Pettis and others.
Veterans For Peace is presenting the “Greg Pettis Elected Official of the Year Award” to Cathedral City Mayor Mark Carnevale. A “Special Achievement Award” will be presented to Dr. Vito Imbasciani, the Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CDVA). Imbasciani is the first gay CDVA Secretary and served in the Army. A “Special Achievement Award” will be presented to Riverside County which recently achieved the milestone of functional zero homeless veterans. The buffet cost is $22 and space is limited. For reservations contact Tom Swann Hernandez at (760) 324-5670.