Solemn Memorial Wreath Laying Ceremony
To Honor America's First LGBT Veteran's Monument
Dedicated Solely to Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgender Who Died In Wars
Memorial Day May 27th, 2001
Cathedral City, CA
60th Anniversary of America's Entry in WW II

Welcoming Remarks - Master of Ceremonies, Tom Swann (former Sgt; U.S. Marine Corps and Founding Chair AMVETS Palm Springs Post 66)

Presentation of Veteran Color Guard - Palm Springs Gay Veterans & San Diego chapter, GLBVA

Invocation - Rev. David Pelletier - Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of the Coachella Valley Palm Springs, CA

Pledge of Allegiance - Chuck Schoen, a Founding Member of the GLBVA

National Anthem - Ms. Wendy Cohen, Chior Director, MCC

Welcome from City of Palm Springs - Ron Oden, Mayor pro tem

Introduction of Special Guests - Greg Pettis, Vice Mayor of Cathedral City

Welcome from City of Cathedral City - Mayor George Stettler

Reading of letter from Rep. Tammy Baldwin - Randy Schecher

Reading of letter from VA Secretary Anthony Principi - Charlie Sharples, AMVETS Vice Commander

Reading of letter from Governor Gray Davis - Eric Bauman, Special Asst. to Gov. Davis

Remarks by Patricia Nell Warren

Special Remarks by Venerable Morris Kight - Liberator! Former adviser to President Jimmy Carter and co-founder Stonewall Democratic Club of LA

Remarks by Mr. Robert LeBlanc - Representative of Dept. of California Amvets for Commander, Dennis O'Dell

Special Music - Ms. Wendy Cohen

Keynote remarks - Daryl James and Introduction of Special Guest of Honor Ms. Dorothy Hajdys-Holman

Special Remarks by Ms. Holman - Mother of Allan Schindler

Special Music - Caballeros Choir

Dedication of Veteran Monument, Unveiling, and Prayer - Tom Swann

Presentation of Memorial Wreaths Moderator - Greg Pettis, Vice Mayor, CC

Music - Navy Hymn (aka. "Eternal Father Strong to Save") The Caballeros
(Note: Everyone is asked to stand and remain silent during the presentation of wreaths. Men should hold their hats over their hearts. Please quietly take pictures in respect to deceased veterans, their families and loved ones.)

  • Alexander Hamilton American Legion Post 448 In loving memory of SGT Leonard Matlovich, Cliff Anchor, Max Woerner, Mark Repass and Bob Basker(Presented by Bud Robbins)
  • Morris Kight - (Presented by Morris)
  • Cathedral City Council
  • Green, deBornowsky and Quintanilla Law Firm (Presented by Steve Quintanilla)
  • Hon. Ron Oden Wreath
  • Desert Stonewall Democratic Club Palm Springs CA - In loving memory of Navy veteran late Sup. Harvey Milk and others
  • Democrats of the Desert Club (Presented by Sonja and Robert Marchand)
  • Inland Empire Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club (Presented by Heidi von Tilsit and Steve McGrew)
  • Democratic Veterans Caucus (Presented by Dave Roberts and Ray Cordova)
  • Gerrie Schipske and Flo Pickett Wreath - In memory of Navy Ensign Robert Southworth WW II
  • State Assemblymember Carole Migden (Presented by Robert Barnes and TBD)
  • Armed Forces Veterans Association of Greater New York
  • Palm Springs Gay Veterans (Presented by Mel Tips and Randy Schecher)
  • AMVETS Post 66 (Presented by Daryl James and Charlie Sharples)

Moment of Silence for All Veterans & Bells Every 10 Seconds - Chris Lenz, Ordained Deacon and Excel Team from the Southland, MCC of the Coachella Valley

Benediction - Chris Lenz, Grandson of Bataan Death March Survivor

Release of 21 White Doves - Morris Kight, nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Retire the Colors (Note: All must stand and salute)

Taps - Bryon Wirth - San Diego Gay Freedom Band

Flag returned

Closing Remarks - Tom Swann

Pictures from AVER website


Contact Tom Swann, Founder -=|=- Bill Kibler
Tom Swann Story: For A Greater Good
Website courtesy of Bill Kibler, USMC Beirut Veteran
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