May, June and July are red, white and blue months for Pleasant Hill mayor

Pleasant Hill’s Memorial Day event at the Soldier’s monument. (Photo courtesy Pleasant Hill Police Dept.)

PLEASANT HILL, CA (June 21, 2023) — The month of May closed with a Memorial Day ceremony in front of the Soldiers Monument in downtown Pleasant Hill honoring and paying tribute to the members of our armed services. We also celebrated Father’s Day on June 18. These two days have me reflecting on my father, John Ward Flaherty.

My dad enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp on Nov. 25, 1942, just two weeks shy of his 19th birthday. He attended tank school and was assigned to the Marines 4th Division, 4th Tank Battalion Company A. He rose to the rank of sergeant. In July 1943, my father headed for the Pacific Theatre and saw combat in Guadalcanal, Saipan and the infamous battle of Iwo Jima. As a result of his heroism rescuing fellow Marines from burning and disabled tanks on Iwo Jima, he received the Bronze Star.

My father rarely spoke of his wartime experiences, but his military training proved useful in taming his brood of seven children and developing his commanding presence as an assistant chief in the San Francisco Fire Department. My father died nearly 16 years ago at the age of 83, but his voice – encouraging, critical or praising, as the occasion warrants – echoes in my head every day.

June 14’s Flag Day gave us the opportunity to dress the front porch with the flag and bunting. And you can leave it up through the July 4 festivities.

4th of July

I look forward to the pomp of the city’s Fourth of July. Nothing encapsulates the small town feel of Pleasant Hill better. The day begins with an early morning 5K run, followed by our cherished parade. Get out early and save your space for prime parade viewing.

The celebration continues with a party in Pleasant Hill Park, where you will find food, kid’s activities and more. You might want to nap a bit and rest up for the fireworks that night at College Park. More food, fun and music precede the pyrotechnics.

Visit for full details on the day’s events and how to participate.

Don’t forget Pleasant Hill hosts free Sunset by the Lake Concerts every other Sunday this summer, featuring the best bands in the area.

Here is the schedule for the remaining concerts:

June 25, Hey Hey Mama.
July 9, Tom Rigney & Flambeau.
July 23, Jinx Jones & the Kingtones.
Aug. 6, The Groove Doctors.
Aug. 20, Native Elements.
Sept. 3. The Big Jangle (the mayor’s favorite).

Community Service Day is coming up Sept. 23, and the city is seeking projects for this annual event. Residents can fill out the project form on the city’s website at

Congrats to all our Pleasant Hill grads. I hope you all have a safe and sane, red, white and blue celebration this year.

Email questions and comments for Mayor Flaherty to