CHICO – At least 150 community members, veterans, family members and service members gathered for a Memorial Day celebration at Chico Cemetery on Monday.
The Chico community band played several upbeat songs throughout the ceremony, including “America the Beautiful” and “Amazing Grace”.
Longtime Chico resident David Shippen attended the service with his mother, Shirley Shippen, and nephew, Cullen Shippen.
“I’ve been coming to the event since childhood,” said David Shippen. His father served in the military and he said that many of his relatives are buried in Chico Cemetery.
“Memorial Day is a time to gather and remember,” said David Shippen. “Many people have come home and struggled and come home with post-traumatic stress disorder. And there are those who made the ultimate sacrifice. ,
Shippen’s brother, Donald Scott Shippen, was honored during the reading of the veterans. David Shippen’s father served in the Navy. Shirley Shippen has four brothers who all serve in the military and have since died.
His son, Donald Scott Shippen and his wife, April Shippen, died in a car accident in 2019. Donald Scott Shippen served in the military, he said.
Boy Scout Troop 2 Assistant Scoutmaster Shan Bertapel took photographs during the ceremony. He said that he and his crew raised and lowered the flags. The ceremony was attended by a combination of Boy Scout Troops 2, 3 and 316.
“It’s an honor for our soldiers who have gone before us,” Bertapel said.
Community member David Calkins asked “What’s a Wait?” read a story about “He’s a cop on the beat,” Culkins said. “She is a nurse who fought, or slept for two hours. She is a prisoner of war who left as one person and came back as another. He has swam in diseased swamps.”
Various service members laid wreaths at the Samadhi of the Unknown Soldier.