Under a crystal blue California sky and accompanied by a respectful crowd, the Campbell Veterans Memorial Fund staff conducted its annual Memorial Day event in downtown Campbell. The Colors were posted by the Branham High School ROTC and rousing music for the National Anthem was provided by the Del Mar High School band. This grand example of wonderful Americana was punctuated the Boy Scouts when they recited the Pledge of Alliance.
This stellar event was indeed memorable because it showcased Major General Nick Tooliatos as the keynote speaker. Nick Tooliatos graduated from Santa Clara University, Cum Laude, in 1980 with a B.S. Degree in Political Science. He was also commissioned as a Distinguished Military Graduate. While completing Law School at Santa Clara University he joined the Army Reserve and was assigned to the 6219th Reception Station. In 2007 General Tooliatos deployed for a short tour to Iraq with the Department of Defense Inspector General to assess the readiness of a fledgling Inspector General system in the Iraqi Government.
NickTooliatos is now a partner of the law firm Randick O’Dea & Tooliatos, LLP in Pleasanton, California. He is a Certified Specialist in Probate Estate Planning and Trust Law.
The General transfixed the audience as his speech spanned the history of America’s wars where he evoked the memories of our glorious fallen heroes. He wove grand sagas about the great and famous warriors like President Theodore Roosevelt (and his four sons who all gallantly served in three wars) down to the less-celebrated heroes like U.S. Army Captain and helicopter pilot Kimberly Hampton who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq in 2004.
The General concluded his soaring oratory by reminding people what Memorial Day is all about: a celebration of men and women who dared all and gave all so that Americans might continue to enjoy the freedoms and benefits of this great nation.
As intended, this unforgettable event inspired the public and uplifted the veterans. While Master of Ceremonies Dan Furtado stage-managed the whole glittering affair, he was ably assisted by Len Duncan (Pres & CEO) and Board Members Jim Free, Mike Kotowski and Jim Clark Moore, among others. Of course few will ever forget Ken Estep’s heartfelt Wreath Laying Ceremony.
The veterans thank you. Our fellow American patriots thank you. The citizens of Campbell thank you. Everyone looks forward to participating in next year’s event.