Let us hope that next year we can celebrate Veterans Day as we usually do

Eddie Bowers salutes the American flag and honors military service people during the 2020 Veterans Day ceremony in downtown Morgan Hill.
Photo by Marty Cheek


By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

This year’s Veterans Day commemoration event in downtown Morgan Hill was cancelled for public health reasons because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizer Eddie Bowers, however, decided to do a small private ceremony at 8 a.m. Nov. 11 to honor those who have served our nation. The U.S. Army vet who served during the Vietnam War brought his friend Steve Johnson, a fellow vet, to play “Taps” on his bugle, followed by Bowers raising the American flag and the prisoner of war flag under it.

We hope that next year the world will control the coronavirus enough to allow people to gather together again at the Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies and join in honoring all the men and women who have proudly worn the uniform of the various branches of the armed forces.

At the Veterans Day event, San Martin resident Larry Carr was promoting sales of “Wreaths Across America” to purchase ornamental wreaths made in Maine to be placed on the graves of veterans in three South Valley cemeteries to decorate them for the holidays. It is a wonderful tradition done by communities across the country as well as at Arlington National Cemetery.

To sponsor a wreath for only $15, go to Gilroy.org/WreathsSouthCounty or send a check payable to Wreaths Across America and mail it to Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, 7471 Monterey Street, Gilroy, CA 95020. (Please include the ID number on the check #CA0073P.) Donations must be made no later than Nov. 30. The wreaths will be placed on the graves at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Gavilan Hills Memorial Park and Saint Mary Cemetery in Gilroy and the Mount Hope Memorial Park in Morgan Hill.

If you have any questions, call Carr at (408) 710-5400.

In a previous year, Santa Claus takes the Christmas wish from a little girl following the Kiwanis’ Holiday Lights Parade.

A well-loved holiday tradition has been cancelled this year because of COVID-19. The Morgan Hill Kiwanis will not do its annual Holiday Lights Parade to protect people from spreading the virus.

“Working with the county’s Environmental Health Department we investigated alternatives, but we don’t see a path to a parade this year,” said Mary Lou Conragan, who organizes the annual parade usually held on a Saturday after Thanksgiving Day.

The Downtown Association and the city of Morgan Hill will place an artificial tree in front of the Community & Cultural Center, but there will be no lighting ceremony. The Kiwanis members are planning on putting up holiday snowflakes on Third Street and possibly decorations on the Monterey Road median in downtown Morgan Hill.

“Who knows? There may be the occasional sighting of Santa and his Magic Ship,” Conragan said.

The Kiwanis would love to post pictures of past parades on its Facebook page, so please mail your favorite pictures to [email protected] then look for them at https://www.facebook.com/KiwanisMorganHill

Here’s looking for a bigger and better Holiday Lights Parade in 2021.

The Morgan Hill Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal organization that usually holds fundraisers throughout the year to help out various organizations in the South Valley. Due to the coronavirus situation, their efforts have been thwarted this year.

Funds from a to-go tri-tip dinner will help the organization reach its goal of donating money to the following organizations: Life Teen at St. Catherine Church; Family Faith Formation at St. Catherine Church; Special Olympics; Families of Departed Brothers; Revs vs Sems Basketball (Diocese of San Jose); Christians in the Middle East; Informed Choices; Vocations; American Wheelchair Mission; Boccardo Family Living Center; St. Vincent de Paul; and St Catherine Pastor.

For $40, you’ll get a dinner for three to four people that includes barbeque tri-tip, French bread, Portuguese chili, and a Caesar salad kit. Order by Nov. 29 and pick the meal up at St. Catherine’s Church between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6.

Marisa Otto, the local Edward Jones financial advisor, is supporting the Toys for Tots program by using her office as a drop-off location for this year’s toy drive.

Local residents may help needy children in the area by bringing in a new, unwrapped toy to the office, 275 Tennant Ave., Suite 205, Morgan Hill CA 95037, during regular business hours beginning Nov. 9 through Dec. 10.

“With the holiday season around the corner, we are all getting ready for the festivities,” Otto said. “And as this is the season of giving, now is a great time to remember the less fortunate in our community.”

Robert Airoldi