Memorial Day Ceremony

The Davis Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6949 and the Davis Cemetery District host an annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Davis Cemetery & Arboretum, 820 Pole Line Road.

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

We always appreciate volunteers to aid in the handing out of programs and the removal of flags later in the afternoon. Please contact jess@daviscemetery.org if you would like to help.

2019 Event Details: 

Monday, May 27th

9:30 Davis Brass Ensemble

10:00 Start of the program

Full program can be viewed here.

This years event will include performances by the Davis Brass Ensemble, Davis Children’s Chorale, and the Davis High School Madrigals. Mrs. Carol Kessler will sing the National Anthem and Mr. Francis Eugene Resta will be our keynote speaker.

Resta was born July 2nd, 1925 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  His father was an Army officer, which moved the Resta family to Fort Crook, Nebraska (now Offit AFB), Fort Shafter, Oahu, Hawaii, and West Point, NY.  Resta grew up at West Point from the 3rd grade throughout High School and attended New York Military Academy for Sr. year High School.  He earned two HS diplomas: New York State Regents (Highland Falls HS) and NYMA.

After volunteering for the draft in 1943, Resta attended Non-Commissioned Officers School in Fort Benning, Ga., and briefly attended the Army Specialist Training Program for Engineering at Purdue University before being assigned to the 102nd Infantry Ozark Division at Camp Swift, Texas, for additional infantry combat training.

Soon, Resta’s unit was needed for post-Normandy offensives across the Netherlands and Germany. He was a 60mm mortar squad leader (sergeant) in an infantry rifle company of the 102nd Infantry Division, which was in Gen. Omar Bradley’s 9th Army in the Rhineland Campaign push from Aachen to the Rhine River, across the Rhine at Wessel, and on across northern Germany to Stendal at the Elbe River.  Resta’s 407th Infantry Regiment earned the Unit Meritorious Service award for service in Germany.

Resta was wounded in the attack on Welz, Germany, and received a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for heroism. After 9 months of combat, the 102nd Division occupied various sections of Germany for 10 months as part of the Post War Occupation Army.  After his service in World War II, Resta served with the U.S. Air Force as a civilian search pilot in the Civil Air Patrol from 1960 to 1978, whereby he earned the rank of first lieutenant and served as Squadron 32 (Mather AFB) Commander for 5 years.  In those 18 years of flying service, he flew scores of searches in the Sierras from Palm Springs to Lassen.

Resta chased several fields of study at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY (2 yrs Engineering), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2 yrs Social Psychology), Wayne State University, Detriot (2 yrs Engineering), and Air Force Institute of Technology (1 yr. Industrial Management), and received BIE degree equivalent by Travis AFB, USAF.

In the 1950s and 60s he worked as an Industrial Engineer in the private sector (Bell Telephone Lab, Fisher Body Division of GM, Chrysler Corp. Car and Truck Assembly, and Aerojet).  For 25 years after that, he worked as a civilian GS12 & GS13 at Mather AFB and Travis AFB, respectively, in the Civil Engineering Divisions as the Industrial Engineering Branch Chief.

Resta married Patricia Nelson in 1960, has 3 children, 9 Grandchildren and 5 Great Grandchildren.  After retirement from Civil Service, Resta built and was Dance Instructor at the Ballroom of Sacramento.  He was a 4H project leader for both Horse and Aerospace activities and led both El Dorado County and California State 4H Aerospace Projects.  He was an avid hiker in the Desolation Wilderness section of the high Sierras and was hike and bicycle leader for the Christ Unity Church of Sacramento in the 1990s and 2000s.  For this past decade, Resta was an active member of Davis Post 6949 and Post Commander in 2013.

We will be in need of volunteers to aid in the handing out of programs and the removal of flags later in the afternoon.  Additional information can be found at www.daviscemetery.org. Contact jess@daviscemetery.org if you would like to help.