It was a little foggy here and there as we drove out through the lower back forty swamp, but we arrived in the big city of Gustine in one piece. Time for a quick stop at Micky D's. It's tradition. Our beloved Bingo leader since forever, was Ken. He was also in charge of the Honor Guard who performs all the Elks Lodge Veteran's funerals.
Ken LOVED those breakfast burritos. Why, I don't know, but now they stop at his favorite Micky D's and have one for the Gipper. To be sure he's not left out, one is placed on his headstone. I can see him laughing. This is not my picture ... I found it on the web because we could not stop on the way in.
The entire long drive was lined with flags blowing in the ever present wind. This is the San Joaquin National Cemetery in Santa Nella California. The morning sunrise was a fitting tribute.
Freezing from the wind and cold, we gathered up our boxes of FRESH greenery wreaths, about 100 in all. I don't know who makes these, but they appear to be hand made.
Here's the reason we are here. Apparently the first year they donated to this cause, the money was sent to pay for the wreaths laid for our members. The next day when someone went to visit the cemetery, there were NO wreaths. Since then, the Knights of the Round Table choose to lay their own.
Talk about organized. Prince Charming and I were given a map and a list of 14 names, along with the site numbers. Off we went laying wreaths over a 5 acre area, making sure the locations were correct. One had the wrong name, but we left the wreath anyway.
On the way out, I spotted the Find-A-Grave computer and looked it up. Happily, we drove all the way back. I hiked up the hill and placed it on the correct location.
This is foothill country and so is quite hilly. At the very top of one hill overlooking the entire cemetery, a ceremony is held once a month to honor all that have passed that month. This is the view.
It's absolutely magnificent! I do wish the gravestones were standing up instead of laying flat, but it does make maintenance much easier, and let me tell you, this place is immaculate!!
We did not stay for the ceremony, since there were more wreaths to lay in every cemetery in our County. I have to say though, this was one of the coolest things I've done in my life. May they all rest in peace.