Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to speak on Memorial Day in San Jose

Former US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will address the crowd at the annual Memorial Day commemoration at Oak Hill cemetery in San Jose on May 30.

State Sen. Dave Cortese, who annually participates in the event to honor fallen service members, said he was proud this year to extend an invitation to Panetta, who also served as a longtime member of the House of Representatives for 16 years, chief of staff for President Bill Clinton and director of the CIA for President Obama. Panetta, 83, will be introduced by his son his, Jimmy Panetta, who has represented the Central Coast in the House since 2017.

The 11 am event, organized by the United Veterans Council of Santa Clara County, will include a World War I display by the Eagle Field Foundation, with uniformed actors and restored vehicles, and a flyover by the 129th Air Rescue Squadron. It’ll continue until 3 pm with commemorations following the keynote to honor the Grand Army of the Republic and Vietnam veterans. Oak Hill Memorial Park is at 300 Curtner Ave.

PURPLE MUSEUM AIMS HIGH: Richmond native Cynt Marshall — the first Black woman to be CEO of an NBA team — will receive this year’s Legacy for Children Award from the Children’s Discovery Museum next month. Marshall has had a pioneering life of firsts, from being the first Black cheerleader at UC-Berkeley to blazing trails with the Dallas Mavericks in 2018 after a career as an executive at AT&T, where she did transformation work in the field of Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion.

“Cynt is such a charismatic leader who has dedicated her life to creating a better world for all children through her DEAI work, her value-based leadership, and her involvement with foster children,” said Marilee Jennings, executive director of the Children’s Discovery Museum . “The importance Cynt places on authenticity resonates at the museum where there is no prescribed way of learning and discovering.”

The 22nd annual event will take place at the Purple Museum in downtown San Jose on June 18 at 6 pm Get more information at

SPIN CYCLE: What was once known as Bike to Work Day is again Bike to Wherever Days, partly because a lot of us are still not back commuting to an office since the COVID-19 pandemic started, and it kicks off May 19 and runs through the weekend.

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