A stirring Memorial Day commemoration at the Nixon Library kicked off with a flyover from the Tiger Squadron’s Formation Flying Team paying tribute to fallen service members with a “Missing Man” formation. Marine Chaplain Kristoffer Alexander then opened the ceremony with an invocation followed by the Presentation of the Colors by the Troy High School JROTC Honor Guard. Mayor of Yorba Linda Tara Campbell then greeted the nearly 500 attendees gathered in the Pat Nixon Amphitheater. 

U.S. Army Specialist Juan Carlos Hernandez, a veteran painted by President George W. Bush in the Portraits of Courage exhibit recently on display at the Nixon Library, conducted a ceremonial wreath laying followed by keynote remarks. He shared his inspirational story of becoming an American citizen during deployment in Afghanistan and his recovery from serious injuries sustained when a rocket-propelled grenade struck the helicopter he was on during a nighttime mission in 2009. Hernandez spoke of how military service creates the opportunity to foster community, overcome adversity, celebrate diversity and be dedicated to a cause greater than oneself.   

As we gather here today, I am reminded of the profound impact military service, community and the immigrant experience have on shaping our lives and our nation.

U.S. Army Sergeant Juan Carlos Hernandez

Keynote Speaker, Memorial Day 2024

Following the wreath laying ceremony, guests filled the Nixon Library’s East Room for a concert of patriotic favorites from the Huntington Beach Concert Band. All guests to the Nixon Library on Memorial Day saw a display of 1,000 American flags placed in honor of fallen U.S. Service Members at the corner of Yorba Linda Boulevard and Eureka Boulevard. The flags were placed by local Cub Scout Troop 775 and Boy Scout Troop 1775 and made possible by Masonic Lodge 469 and Friends Christian School of Yorba Linda.