Honoring the Fallen - NBC Bay Area

Honoring the Fallen



    Honoring the Fallen
    A small wreath sits in front of the Veterans Memorial in Flourtown, Pa. this Memorial Day.

    The 400,000 Americans killed during World War II were honored at the Presidio's 143rd Memorial Day ceremony at the San Francisco National Cemetery on Monday.

    World War II veterans laid a wreath to mark the nation's entry into the war 70 years ago, event organizers said.

    The tribute also featured songs from a San Francisco  barbershop quartet, a flyover by the U.S. Coast Guard, and a 21-gun salute.

    Prior to the ceremony, the 191st Army Band lead a parade from the Presidio's Main Post to the National Cemetery.

    More than 3,100 World War II veterans are buried in the cemetery,  whose graves serve as a reminder of the Presidio's involvement in the war,  organizers said.

    After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Presidio became the  headquarters for the Western Defense Command responsible for retaking two key  islands in the Aleutians from the Japanese, according to event organizers.

    The Presidio was also home to a military intelligence Japanese  language school. The Letterman Army Hospital in the Presidio, which was  deactivated in 1995, treated many of the war's major casualties.

    "The Memorial Day ceremony is so important to the Presidio and its  history of military service," said Craig Middleton, executive director of the  Presidio Trust.

    The San Francisco National Cemetery is a National Historic  Landmark and more than 35,000 veterans and their family members are buried  there.

    Bay City News