County of Marin - News Releases - Veterans Day

For Immediate Release
October 23, 2018

Coast Guard Rear Admiral is Veterans Day Speaker

Peter W. Gautier is honored guest at annual ceremony at Marin Center

San Rafael, CA – The rear admiral who oversees U.S. Coast Guard operations from the California-Oregon border south to Peru will serve as the keynote speaker for Marin County’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Sunday, November 11, at the Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium in San Rafael.

An American flag flaps as Junior ROTC cadets walk by during a Veterans Day event in 2013.There will be two events at Marin Center on Veterans Day, a traditional ceremony in the morning and a special lunch with live music and a guest speaker in the afternoon.
The ceremony, which begins at 9:30 a.m., will mark in the 100th anniversary of the World War I armistice agreement, which was signed in the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. A special celebration with live music and lunch – free for veterans and their families – is taking place afterward at nearby Exhibit Hall immediately after the traditional ceremonies.

Rear Admiral Peter W. Gautier has been Commander of the 11th Coast Guard District since June, directing operations in safety, security, law enforcement and environmental stewardship. In addition, he is deputy director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Joint Task Force West. Gautier has previous experience as a Coast Guard liaison to the U.S. Congress and as commander of a disaster-response strike team that participated in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Hurricane Katrina, and the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.

The annual Veterans Day event, presented by the Marin County United Veterans Council and sponsored by the County of Marin, honors all Americans who served in the line of duty with our military forces, with a special emphasis on Marin’s own heroes. Event officials are actively seeking veterans from recent overseas conflicts in the Middle East to attend the ceremony and become active in Marin’s veterans groups.

The morning event will feature the voice of Marin-based vocalist/actor Susan Zelinsky and her students from Sun Valley Elementary and Davidson Middle School. Patriotic songs will played by the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District Non-Marching Band, aka the Sewer Band. Cadets from the U.S. Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) based at Novato High School will present the colors.

The indoor session begins with music at 9:30 a.m., and the official ceremony begins at 10. After the indoor ceremony, the program continues outdoors in front of the memorials on the Avenue of the Flags. A moment of silence will be observed and wreaths will be laid at the foot of the statues to honor fallen comrades. Refreshments will be served in the Redwood Foyer of the Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium after the outdoor event.

Note that the event’s start time 30 minutes earlier than the annual Memorial Day event so as to accommodate the playing of “Taps” during the 11th hour of the 11th month of the year. For more information on the morning ceremonies, contact Ray Mullin of the Marin County United Veterans Council at

Following the morning ceremony, all veterans, service members, and their families are invited to a special 100th Year Anniversary Veterans Day Celebration Luncheon at the Exhibit Hall, a short walk across the Marin Center fairgrounds from the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. The celebration, made possible by the support of the Mario Ghilotti Family Foundation, will feature guest speaker Alden Mills, a former U.S. Navy SEAL platoon commander, who is scheduled to speak at about 1 p.m.

Doors to the Exhibit Hall will open at approximately 11:30 a.m. and lunch service (plated lunch with optional wine or beer) begins at about 12:30 p.m. The lunch and drinks are free for all card-carrying vets and active-duty vets along with their families. For all other visitors, lunch and drinks are $25 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under (cash or check payment only). The Doc Kraft Dance Band will begin performing at about 2 p.m. RSVP is required at or call 415-827-9900.

The Marin County Veterans Services Office of the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has a staff of four people to provide timely assistance to the estimated 15,500 military vets living in the county. Veterans’ most acute needs are in applying for federal benefits, pension claims and health care services. Most veterans need more assistance as they get older, and new veterans from recent foreign conflicts need aid as they assimilate back to civilian life.

The Veterans Services Office is at 10 North San Pedro Road in San Rafael, across the street from the Marin County Civic Center. Learn more about the Veterans Service Office at


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