El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park is offering free admission to a Veterans Day celebration this Wednesday, November 11, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Members of the living history group Los Soldados de Cuera (Soldiers of the Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara) and re-enactment soldiers from Fort Tejon State Historic Park will take part in a ceremony to honor armed service veterans, active military members, and their families.
The re-enactment soldiers from Fort Tejon, which is in Lebec, California, will be in their full Civil War uniforms, some on horseback, and will post the colors. A Santa Barbara priest will say a prayer for veterans and a wreath-placing ceremony will follow. The Presidio bells will be played at 11 a.m., followed by a moment of silence. Then a trumpeter will play taps and there will be a presentation to honor the veterans. The event is being sponsored by the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.
World War II veteran and Los Soldados de Cuera member George “Bud” Decker said the ceremony is a recognition of all the soldiers who have served in the American armed forces. Los Soldados de Cuera represents soldiers who were stationed at the Santa Barbara fort when it was an outpost of the Spanish empire. “We will be there to commemorate soldiers who fought in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam-hey, all of them, all American soldiers. We’re not celebrating Spanish soldiers,” Decker clarified.
But it so happens that many of the re-enactors are U.S. veterans or have military background and a general interest in military history, said Jared Brach, the Trust for Historic Preservation’s public relations and membership coordinator. He said El Presidio is perfect for such an occasion, and he expects at least 100 veterans and community members to attend.
The Presidio ceremony will take place 10:30 a.m.-noon, October 11, at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park, located at 123 E. Canon Perdido St. in Santa Barbara.
In addition, the Korean War Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars are holding a memorial service at the Santa Barbara Cemetery at 9 a.m.
At 11 a.m., there will be a service at the Veterans Memorial Building. Seating in the auditorium begins at 10:30 a.m. and doors will be closed at 11 a.m. No one will be seated after doors are closed, to assure that the speakers are not disturbed.
A free Veterans’ Day concert at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens begins at 2:30 p.m.
A Veteran’s Day Parade will take place three days after the official holiday, on Saturday, November 14, starting at State and Sola streets at 1 p.m.