Glenn Powers, Deputy Undersecretary for Field Programs and Cemetery Operations of VA's National Cemetery Administration (NCA) addresses the Veterans Day audience at the Mare Island Naval Cemetery (MINC).


Mare Island Naval Cemetery transfer to VA starts

Vallejo, CA

On Nov. 11, the City of Vallejo held the 101st Veterans Day (started in 1920 as Armistice Day) at MINC. Our program subtitled this momentous event as “Celebrating the Start of Transfer to Dept. of Veterans Affairs.”

One of our speakers, Glenn R. Powers, stated, “I’m honored to be here with you today, it is an impressive event. It has been said that we die two deaths, the first is our final breath and the second is when no one remembers that we existed. The NCA and the proud stewardship of this cemetery and the things that this community has done is all about making sure that the second death never occurs. It is truly an honor to be part of this effort. Thank you for honoring veterans for what they have done and the sacrifices they have made.”

We were also honored to have Department Commander Autrey "AJ" James and Adjutant Barbara Lombrano among the audience of nearly 200 persons (some leaving early to attend the next ceremony by Post 603 behind Vallejo City Hall).

Other speakers included: Robert McConnell - City of Vallejo Mayor; Duane Sarmiento - Veterans Of Foreign Wars Junior Vice Commander; Bob Sampayan - former Vallejo Mayor; Karnig Ohannessian - Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Navy
(Environment); Shelley Berkley - Touro University Chief Executive Officer; and the keynote address was given by Vallejo’s Congressman Mike Thompson, a Vietnam War Purple Heart Medal recipient.

Other participants included: Rozzana Verder-Aliga - Master of Ceremonies; RADM O’Kane Division of U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps - Presenting the Colors; Airman First Class Natalie Angst - National Anthem; Reggie Russell VFW CA District 16 Commander - Pledge Of Allegiance; Bishop Bryan Harris – Invocation; Greg Marro, First Sergeant US Army (Ret) – Taps; Reverend Rey Bernardes – Benediction; and Neil Henderson Post 1921 Scottish American Military Society – Bagpipes.

Video messages were also received from: Neil Frank Ferrer - Consul General of Philippines, San Francisco; Congressman Mark Takano - Chair, House Veterans Affairs Committee; Gavin Newsom - Governor of California; Bill Dodd - California State Senator; Paul Dillard - National Commander, The American Legion; and Ralph Parrott - US Navy Captain (Retired).

You can view the video at

« Previous story
Next story »