Menifee Veterans, Residents Celebrate Memorial Day

Mayor Scott Mann and Sgt. Mykel Anderson, who lives in Menifee and is stationed at March ARB, place a wreath in front of the Menifee Veterans Memorial.
Hundreds of Menifee residents, including active military and Veterans, paid their respects to our country and to the legacy of local service personnel during a Memorial Day ceremony at the Veterans Memorial in Wheatfield Park today.

Mayor Scott Mann, a Navy Veteran, joined a local active service member in placing a wreath in front of the Veterans Memorial following a ceremony featuring local dignitaries. Guests were invited to place a red rose atop the memorial, which stands in front of a plaza of bricks inscribed with the names of local Veterans.

The keynote speaker was Suzette Proctor, a retired Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and is a current member of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1956. Proctor shared her first-hand experience with triage and medical practice in Iraq during the war. Her mobile medical unit served 91 seriously wounded Marines in a 24-hour period during the battle for Fallujah.

Dick Haynes led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Haynes is one of the senior members of the local VFW Post and is a veteran of the Pacific campaign in WWI, having served as a Petty Officer aboard the honored attack aircraft carrier UUS Hornet, CVA 12.

Mann addressed the audience and described a little-known sea battle with Imperial Japan in the 1860's. The point he made was that America has been about the business of Foreign Wars far longer than most Americans realize and this country has fallen warriors over a very long period of our history.

"How many battles have been forgotten?" Mann asked. "Today, we here in Menifee remember all who have served. We remember that freedom isn't free."

City Councilmen Greg August, John Denver, Tom Fuhrman and Deputy Mayor Wallace Edgerton were all in attendance. Michael Anderson, city public safety coordinator, and Pete Maroosis, Commander of Menifee VFW Post 1956, were the primary organizers of the event.

Several groups were represented in booths at the edge of the park, including VFW Post 1956, the Menifee Police Department and the City of Menifee. The city booth included information about the Menifee Military Banner Program, in which residents can purchase large banners honoring local military personnel and Veterans to be displayed on city streets.

Planning Commissioner Lesa Sobek, who staffed the booth, said that residents who have difficulty paying for the cost of a banner should contact Allen Yun at City Hall. Residents have made donations that may be used to help approve those requests.

After the ceremony, there were several children's games and contests and the City supplied free hot dog and hamburger meals to active duty personnel and their families.

Suzette Proctor's husband, retired Senior Chief Chris Proctor, also addressed the assembly and read the names of 16 recently deceased Veterans from the Menifee area whose dedicated Memorial Bricks were recently moved to Wheatfield Park from the Sun City Association Memorial. The names included WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War era Veterans.

Everett Hargreaves of the U.S. Navy Air Corps was one of these memorialized. Hargreaves is one of less than 1,500 Aces in the history of U.S. air power, having been credited with downing 8.5 enemy aircraft over the Pacific in WWII.

The list of all those deceased local Veterans honored in the rededication of the Memorial Bricks:

William J. Houser, Navy
Carley Sullenger, Army
Malcolm Alexander, WWII
Everett C, Hargreaves, Navy Lt. WWII Ace
Keith E. Flauding, Marines, Korea
Herman Krantz, Navy
Cornelius (Bud) G. Medcalf, Marines, WWII
Murl L. Boruff, Army, WWII
Robert Willard, Army
Jesse H, Judd, Army
Ben Jasinski, Army
Thomas R. Arbour Jr., Marines, Vietnam
Floyd H. Maples, Marines
Charles Ray, Marines
Robert I. Taylor, Navy
Alford M. Blumfield, Army Air Force, WWII

Joe Quinn of FVW Post 1956 contributed to this article. Photos by Doug Spoon, Joe Quinn and Linda Denver.

VFW Post 1956 Past Commander Dick Haynes join Suzette and Chris Proctor, both Retired Senior Chiefs and VFW Members, on the dais.

Mayor Scott Mann addresses the audience.

A table is set with places for each branch of the military, representing fallen comrades.

A large crowd gathered at Wheatfield Park for the ceremony.

The names of local Veterans are inscribed on bricks in front of the Memorial.

Residents young and old joined in leaving red roses on the Menifee Veterans Memorial.


  1. Thank you City of Menifee for such a nice ceremony honoring all service members. Our family was touched by such an honorable ceremony.

  2. "The "local member of the military" was SSgt. Mykel Anderson from the 163rd RW (ANG) from March ARB.

    She is but one of the 107 military families from the 163rd living in Menifee.