BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — Friday kicks off the weekend that we honor many men and women who've paid the ultimate sacrifice for the country. Memorial Day weekend is full of events and memorials for the fallen from around the U.S. and right here in our community.
On Saturday, the Park at Riverwalk will be transformed into a sea of flags in honor of Memorial Day for their 6th annual Rotary Thousand Flags event. Denise Haynes, organizer for Thousand Flags event says they continue to do this to remind the community the true importance of the weekend. This year the event will add 140 additional flags for the Kern County individuals who have lost their lives.
“We want to continue to honor every Memorial Day to honor in every visible and noticeable way,” Haynes said. “To make it even more personal to the people in Kern county by putting 1,140 than just 1,000 that way it has more significance to us as residents.”
Organizers say they’re expecting close to 4,000 visitors and want to remind the community that anyone can come out to volunteer and help set up Saturday morning at 8 a.m.
Meanwhile in Downtown Bakersfield, the Portrait of a Warrior Gallery honors fallen veterans in the area with memorial portraits.
“Anyone who comes down here you are going to see what we call the, cost of freedom, and there are over a million people who died in service so that you and I could even have a barbecue this weekend,” said Lili Marsh, founder of Portrait of Warrior Gallery.
The Portrait of a Warrior Gallery has been open for eight months and wants to remind the community they are welcomed to pay respect especially this weekend.
The gallery holds a special place for native Shane Luttrell who is a veteran himself. He works at the gallery, the same place where a portrait of his uncle, a fallen veteran, hangs on the wall.
“Kern County is one of the best counties I have seen for support for veterans, just as the community as whole comes together in times of need,” said Luttrell. “He was actually the first killed in the whole nation for the United States after 9/11 anyway to give back to the community while honoring my uncle is a great experience.”
The gallery will be open tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. but closed on Memorial Day.
There are also several memorial services at the local cemeteries this weekend at this link.