As it has for many years, Benicia will celebrate Memorial Day with a ceremony at the oldest United States military cemetery on the West Coast, its own Benicia Military Cemetery in the Arsenal.


“The ceremony honors those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our way of life, as well as all veterans and those currently serving our nation,” said Wallace Stephens, spokesperson for the Benicia Historical Society.


The Historical Society, which was established in 1973, organizes and sponsors the event each year at the Benicia Military Cemetery, which has graves that date to the 1840s. “Many of the graves are marked Unknown, as the names have been lost over time,” Stephens said.


He said the Historical Society is planning for a military fly-over from Travis Air Force Base and the United States Coast Guard Air Station in San FranciscoBenicia Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3928 and Benicia American Legion Post 101 will provide the color guard. Diablo Regional Concert Band will play music and the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery Volunteer Honor Guard will perform a rifle salute.


“A wreath-laying ceremony will honor those interred at the cemetery,” Stephens said. Col. Gregory Ford, who became the garrison commander of the Presidio of Monterey in 2018, will be the guest speaker.


The Memorial Day ceremony will begin at 10am Monday, May 27. To get to the cemetery, take Military East to Hospital Road, then go through the gate to the parking area. A SolTrans shuttle will be available to the cemetery from City Park. Stephens said motorists should plan to arrive early if they want to park nearby. 


Admission is free, and light refreshments will be served after the ceremony. The Benicia Historical Society’s website is, and the organization has a Facebook page.