Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation To Observe and Celebrate Our Country’s Independence with a Free, Live Event on Sunday, the 4th of July, from Noon – 1:00 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Cemetery

Event marks the non-profit’s first live community event since November 2019, featuring an honor guard; the Gold Coast Pipe Band; Keynote Speaker Navy Captain Charlie Plumb, USNR, (Ret.) – an F-4 Phantom jet fighter pilot, six-year prisoner of war; Vietnam veteran and popular motivation expert; speaker Col. Rob Long, the new Commander of Space Launch Delta 30 at United States Space Force; and a spectacular flyover!

With the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation (PCVF) is pleased to present their first live, in-person, celebration since November 2019. On July 4th, from noon to 1:00 p.m., the community is invited to attend a special Independence Day presentation outside on the grounds of the historic Santa Barbara Cemetery.

“We are thrilled to be able to resume our mission of acknowledging the service and sacrifice of our veterans – the guardians of our nation’s independence,” says PCVF co-founder Lt. John Blankenship (USN former). “What better way to do this than to gather with our friends, families and neighbors on the 4th of July. Our goal is to respectfully observe and celebrate this year’s very special Independence Day. It signifies the birth of our nation and return to a sense of normalcy now that California is “open for business”. We look forward to welcoming you and our many supporters to this patriotic event at one of the most peaceful and beautiful outdoor settings in the city of Santa Barbara.”

The event will include performance by  Gold Coast Pipe Band. There will be an honor guard from Vandenberg Air Force Base. America the Beautiful will be performed by David Gonzales, a retired Santa Barbara Police Sargent. Lt. Blankenship will give the opening remarks followed by the keynote address featuring  Navy Captain Charlie Plumb, USNR, (Ret.). He is an F-4 Phantom jet fighter pilot, six-year prisoner of war, Vietnam veteran and popular motivation expert. Special guest speaker will be Col. Robert A. Long, the new Commander of Space Launch Delta 30 at United States Space Force. The event will conclude with a crowd favorite; a spectacular flyover in the skies above the venue presented by The Condor Squadron based in Van Nuys, CA. The organization’s mission is to “To Honor Military Aviation through Flight, Exhibition, and Remembrance.” Founded in 1965 by a group of WWII fighter pilots, The Condor Squadron is preserving a piece of aviation history that played an important part in securing the freedoms we cherish as a nation. They proudly fly WWII, North American AT-6 airplanes in formation over events commemorating veterans.

PCVF wishes to thank their 4th of July event sponsors which include The City of Santa Barbara, Deborah Hearst, the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, Santa Barbara News-Press, Noozhawk and Voice Magazine.

PCVF events underscore the mission of the organization, which is, in the words of founder Pierre Claeyssens, “To be killed in war is not the worst that can happen. To be lost is not the worst that can happen… to be forgotten is the worst.” For more information, visit the organization’s website at pcvf.org. If you would like to get involved or donate to ensure our local veterans are thanked, honored and supported all year long, contact us at media@pcvf.org.


About Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation

Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation is committed to honoring the men and women who have served in uniform at any time. PCVF does this by supporting veterans and active duty members, and related partner organizations, in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, as well as preserving military history and legacy. The Foundation works to uphold Pierre Claeyssens’s vision that those who have served are “Never Forgotten.” PCVF is funded entirely by private donations. For more information, visit pcvf.org or call (805) 259-4394.

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