Following a yearly tradition, several local Phoenix residents arrived in red, white and blue attire May 25, 2015 for the 32nd Annual Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony at the Pioneer & Military Memorial Park. The historic cemeteries are located at 14th Avenue and Jefferson Streets in the downtown Phoenix metro area.
The PMMP is made up of seven cemeteries dating back to the 1880’s. Burials ceased at the cemetery in 1914 while residences were rapidly being built around the Capital area. The original Pioneers’ Cemetery Association was established in the 1930’s. In 1983 the PCA re-grouped with goals to research and preserve the historic grounds. The Remembrance Ceremony was started in that year.
The ceremony began with a welcome, prayer, and a grand march of the many participants including: 1st New Mexico Volunteers, Company B; Arizona Civil War Council; Arizona Masonic Lodge #2; Buffalo Soldiers of the Arizona Territory—Ladies and Gentlemen of the Regiment; Children of the American Revolution and Daughters of the American Revolution; First Families of Arizona; Sons of Confederate Veterans; Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War; Southwest Civil War Association; The First Families of Arizona; United Daughters of the Confederacy—Thunderbird Chapter; West Valley Genealogy Society; Heritage Square; Arizona Military Women Across Arizona; Sons of the American Revolution; Knight Templars Grand Commandery of Arizona; Hallie Orme Thomas Society; Daughters of Scottia.
Posting of Colors was presented by Arizona Masonic Lodge #2 with Invocation by Reverend Philip Rye. Julian Reveles was on hand to welcome the guests and make introductions.
The keynote speaker for 2015 was Arizona’s most acclaimed journalist, Jana Bommersbach. Her address to the audiences was a reminder of how Arizona earned that 48th star on the American Flag. Dedicated soldiers, much like members of the PCA, have always taken that extra step to get the job done, and to fight for what they hope to accomplish.
The traditional bell tolled to honor departed members of the PCA and to our men and women in uniform killed in action past and present. A special remembrance was made to K J Schroeder—one of the longtime members of the PCA and friend to many Arizona preservationists.
After the final rifle and cannon salute, and the playing of Taps by bugler, Jan Huber, refreshments were enjoyed by all. Ms Bommersbach greeted her followers and signed copies of her latest novel, “Cattle Kate.”
For more information: www.azhistcemeteries.org