Presidio of San Francisco (May 16, 2017) – The Presidio Trust, Veterans of Foreign Wars, San Francisco National Cemetery, and City of San Francisco announce the 149th Memorial Day Commemoration. This year’s event, which draws over 2,000 spectators, will honor the one million Americans killed while serving in the United States armed forces, and the remarkable commitment and sacrifices made by active duty military personnel and veterans. The ceremony will provide the public with an opportunity to understand and share the burden of military sacrifice. Selected speakers will recount personal military experiences that have impacted individuals, families, and communities.
Highlighted speakers include:
General Karl Eikenberry, U.S. Army (retired), lecturer, author, and former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan;
Dana Gioia Poet Laureate of California and founder of
Operation Homecoming, a collection of contemporary writing and wartime reflections from military personnel and their families;
Joshua Mantz, West Point graduate, retired Army captain, Iraq veteran, and author of the forthcoming memoir
The Beauty of a Darker Soul; and emcee
Phil Gioia, historian, businessman, community leader and decorated Vietnam-era veteran.
Schedule of Events:
|10:30 a.m.||Grand march includes military, Color Guard, marching band, and more (from the Presidio Officers’ Club to the San Francisco National Cemetery)|
|11:00 a.m.||Formal ceremony with special wreath-laying to honor PFC Caesar Viglienzone, killed in action in Iraq in 2006, and guest speakers|
Fly-over by the U.S. Coastguard, U.S. Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco
|12:00 p.m.||21-gun-salute by the U.S. Army’s 75th Pacific Division|
|12 - 3 p.m.||Community BBQ Picnic by Presidio Foods on the Main Post of the Presidio|
|12:30 p.m.||Cemetery tours led by NPS interpretive rangers Fredrik Penn and James Osborne|
Parking at the Main Post is free on holidays, and a free Memorial Day shuttle will provide service between the Main Post and the National Cemetery beginning at 9:30 a.m. and running through 1:30 p.m. For more information about the Presidio’s Memorial Day Events visit
San Francisco National Cemetery in the Presidio is a designated National Historic Landmark dating to the mid-1800s when the U.S. Army took control of the Presidio and established a small cemetery west of the Main Post. In 1884, the War Department decided to create a much larger National Cemetery on higher ground overlooking the bay, marking the first time such a facility was designated on the west coast. The cemetery expanded gradually over five decades to the nearly 29 acres it encompasses today. Following World War II, it was largely at capacity; new burials stopped in 1973, with the exception of family members who have an existing plot.
The Presidio Trust is an innovative federal agency created to save the Presidio and employ a partnership approach to transform it into a new kind of national park. Founded by Spain in 1776 as El Presidio de San Francisco, the Presidio served as a legendary U.S. Army post from 1846 to 1994. Spanning 1,500 acres in a spectacular setting at the Golden Gate, the Presidio now operates without federal appropriations, is home to a community of residents and commercial tenants, and offers unique recreation, hospitality, and educational opportunities to people throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and the world. To learn more please visit