PALM DESERT, Calif. - Some members at the Oasis Country Club in Palm Desert planned a special day for nearly 30 Marines from the 29 Palms Marine Base. It was a day to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, while honoring those who continue to serve today.
Two Marines were paired with one host family. Many families are from military backgrounds or are veterans themselves, like Michael Rhogs.
"Being a former Marine, we know how to talk certain words that others don't understand. But they're (Marines) always appreciative, they're very polite, very good and they're the warriors of our country," Rhogs said.
Marines were honored for their bravery and sacrifice. Staff Sgt. Wesley Alexander remembered his own fallen brothers.
"I too had a couple of deployments and lost a couple friends. I remember them every single day, but publicly, once everyone gets together and remembers what the world went through and what my friend went through, it's key. It's the ultimate sacrifice. They didn't ask for it. It's a desire. It's a lifestyle and they represent America," Alexander said.
After lunch, Marines and their host families played in a golf tournament. Everyone involved never lost focus of the true meaning of Memorial Day.
"Memorial Day is not for us. It's not for the people who are still living today. It's not for the veterans. It's for people who have fallen in combat in wars now and wars past. It's not for us, it's for them and it's nice to get out here and honor their name," said Marine, Evan McCarthy.
Federal, state and local government offices, courts, schools, libraries and post offices are closed for the Memorial Day holiday. Most banks, savings and loans and credit unions are also closed.
Riverside Transit Agency, Dial-A-Ride and Metrolink will operate on a Sunday schedule. Omnitrans buses will not be in service. Curbside trash pickup by the city of Riverside, Burrtec and Waste Management will be delayed by one day. Landfills are also closed.