County of Marin - News Releases - Memorial Day Preview

For Immediate Release
May 14, 2015

Vietnam Veterans Leader is Memorial Day Speaker

San Rafael’s Ernie Bergman featured during May 25 event at Marin Civic Center

San Rafael, CA – Ernie Bergman of San Rafael, a U.S. Navy veteran and the local chapter president of the Vietnam Veterans of America, will be the featured speaker at Marin County’s annual Memorial Day event May 25 at the Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium in San Rafael.

Ernie Bergman holds is hand over his heart during the national anthem during the 2014 Veterans Day ceremony at the Marin Civic Center.Bergman has been on stage at Marin’s largest Memorial Day event for many years, but never as the featured speaker. After growing up in Mill Valley, Bergman enlisted in September 1966 after finishing at Tamalpais High School and became an expert in ship navigation. He spent most of 1967 and 1968 conducting river operations in support of U.S. Marines and U.S. Army Infantry divisions in and around the Mekong Delta and other South Vietnam locations. After receiving advanced training stateside, he returned to the war zone and served a second tour in combat operations between Saigon and the Demilitarized Zone.

Bergman separated from the Navy in 1970 and has worked 39 years in the investment and financial professions. With Chapter 547 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Bergman has been an active participant with the Marin County United Veterans Council and annually orchestrates a series of veteran appearances in Marin high schools about the realities of war and military service.

The Memorial Day event, presented by the Marin County United Veterans Council and supported by the Marin County Board of Supervisors, honors all fallen American servicemen and servicewomen in the line of duty with a special emphasis on Marin’s own heroes. It includes an indoor ceremony inside the Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium followed by an outdoor ceremony in front of the military monuments on Avenue of the Flags just outside the Marin Center complex.

The event is to begin with a musical performance at 10 a.m. and the indoor ceremony starts at 10:30 a.m. The start time is 30 minutes later than in past years because of a desire to accommodate veterans participating in early-morning Memorial Day events in Novato and West Marin.

The Civic Center ceremony will feature patriotic marches played by the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District Non-Marching Band and the voice of mezzo soprano Liudmilla Mullin. Cadets from U.S. Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps based at Novato High School will participate as a color guard and drill team, and elected officials and representatives from local veterans groups will be recognized. The program then moves outdoors to the memorials on the Avenue of the Flags. After wreaths are laid at the foot of statues, “Taps” is played to conclude the ceremony. Doughnuts and coffee will be served in the Redwood Room of Marin Center.

Learn more about Marin County’s Veterans Services program by watching this short video. The program is overseen by the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services.


Sean Stephens
Veterans Services Officer
Health and Human Services

10 N. San Pedro Rd.
Suite 1010
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6193
Email: Sean Stephens
Veterans Services website