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Memorial Weekend event retuning to Woodward Park
memorial weekend
A volunteer holds one of the flags greeting Gold Star families as they entered Woodward Park with a Patriot Riders motorcycle escort during a previous Memorial Day Weekend event.

The loss of 13 American soldiers’ lives to a suicide bomber while helping evacuate civilians in Kabul in August of 2021 struck a chord with Pastor Mike Dillman.

 As he was watching news accounts of the tragedy unfold Dillman was determined to double down on efforts to make sure the men and women that serve America aren’t forgotten.

Dillman is the original driving force behind the Memorial Day Weekend event at Woodward Park that started in 2009 and ran until 2017 that Pentagon officials said was the biggest of its kind west of the Mississippi River.

Now after a four-year hiatus the event honoring those that have fallen, those that are serving and have served, and acknowledging that the freedoms Americans enjoy come with a high price is returning to Woodward Park on Friday May 28, through Monday, May 30.

Dillman and others have arranged for four memorials to be on display. They include a replica of the Tomb of he Unknown Soldier, the Traveling Korean War Memorial, the Remembering Our Fallen National Memorial, and the First Responders Memorial.

That is in addition to the 7,000 wooden crosses that will be placed on the grass at Woodward Park acknowledged the American lives lost in the Global War in Terror.
There is a USO Show starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 29, featuring the Kinzi Free Band, The Sun Kings (a Beatles tribute band), sacred fire dancers, and aerial fireworks.

Saturday’s activities also a car show, God Star family reception, military helicopter landings, an expanded kids play zone, military displays, Patriot Riders, and more.

Saturday night also includes an "Appeal to Heaven" with Mario Murillo.

Murillo’s  voice has been heard by millions around the world, bringing a message that zeroes in on the hurts of society. He presents Christ clearly, intelligently, and openly declares the power of Jesus to totally transform a life. His simple declaration: Come and see. Christ has the power to end addiction, racism, violence, and disease.

Worship services will take place that Sunday at 5 p.m.

The memorials will be open all three days. There is no admission to the event or to see the memorials.

During previous Memorial Weekends more than 30,000 people descended on Woodward Park for the three-day event from throughout Northern California.

For more information go to


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email