Apr 25, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Memorial Day Ceremony, 2014

By Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation
Monday, May 26, 2014 • 10 am – 11 am    (Pls. arrive early)
Santa Barbara Cemetery, 901 Channel Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
Free, Donations Welcome
One-hour program to honor all those who have served and their families. Program includes bagpipers, USMC Color Guard, Pledge of Allegiance & Invocation with live music, guest speakers, and singers to bring to life the PCVF motto - “Never Forgotten.”  All are welcome to join us.  Seating area provided. Pls arrive no later than 9:45 am. Ceremony starts at 10 sharp and culminates with a flyover of vintage war birds doing two passes – the final one “The Missing Man” pass.  
For your comfort, please wear sunscreen or hats and comfortable shoes to traverse the cemetery grounds.  Free parking.  
More information: (805) 259-4394 
(805) 259-4394 
Posted in Memorial Day 2014, Veterans Events in Santa Barbara, CA.

May 28, 2014 Arrow1 Down Reply
Steven Ganter

Inappropriate comments by Col Phil Conran, USAF Ret at the Memorial Day ceremony May 26, 2014 at the Santa Barbara Cemetery

To the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation

I would like to offer my gratitude to the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation for organizing the Memorial Day ceremony at the Santa Barbara Cemetery on May 26. Like every year, I enjoy taking this opportunity to pay my respects to all the men and women in arms how paid the ultimate sacrifice for our great country and this flag.

However, this year's ceremony was overshadowed by comments from Col Phil Conran USAF Ret that were utterly misplaced and deeply insulting. His comments about the abandonment of the military by this administration regarding in the incident in Libya were offensive and completely uncalled for. Earlier in his speech he mentioned a heroic veteran who received the Presidential Medal of Honor. This brave soldier credited this honor to his entire platoon by stating "we had each other backs". In contrast Col Conran's vitriolic statement on how he felt about our administration and Libya clearly showed that he does not have our commander-in-chief's back, which leads me to question his patriotism and loyalty to our great county. Nobody wearing an American Forces uniform should make such disrespectful and treacherous comments about our administration and country, which they allegedly pledge to defend. Further, expressing such an offensive and despiteful view at a cemetery on Memorial Day is completely unacceptable. This day is reserved to honor the brave men and women who gave their lives to defend and protect America and not to hear such hurtful and shameful words from Col Conran. I left the ceremony upset and angry over Col Conran's words at a day that should have been filled with feeling of gratitude and respect for all the dead soldiers.

Many other attendees of Monday's Memorial Day ceremony have express similar outrage and disbelief over these insensitive words by Col Conran and feel shocked and insulted.

I am contacting you today because I believe these disrespectful comments by Col Conran in no way reflect the intentions or represent the opinions of the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation.

I strongly urge you to set the record straight and offer a public statement of apology regarding the comments from Col Conran to all attendees of the Memorial Day ceremony.

Thank you,
Steven Ganter
[email protected]