Since 1996, The Interfaith Center at the Presidio has been headquartered in the Presidio Post Chapel in San Francisco. Built in the 1930’s, the Post Chapel served as a de facto interfaith place of worship as military service personnel of many different faiths and traditions were welcomed into the space.
The Chapel features eleven stained glass windows designed by Willemina E. A. M. Ogterop and contributed by various veterans organizations. They highlight virtues typifying military character – Courage, Mercy, Martyrdom, Loyalty, Justice, Truth, Reverence, Honor, Sacrifice, Motherhood, and Daring. Courage was contributed by the American Legion; Loyalty was contributed by the Grand Army of the Republic; Justice was contributed by the Spanish American War Veterans; and Truth, Reverence, Honor, and Sacrifice, were presented by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The three chancel windows represent Hope, Love, and Faith.
Memorial plaques adorn the walls of the sanctuary, marking the passing of soldiers who served at the Presidio. A granite memorial to Army chaplains was erected in front of the Chapel in 1973. Two years later, a Memorial Garden was dedicated. In 1986, a memorial to Vietnam Veterans was dedicated adjacent to the garden.
On Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, at 1:00 pm at the Chapel, the Interfaith Center at the Presidio will host its annual service that brings together various faiths to remember and celebrate those who have given their lives for us. The homily, “Honoring the Dead – Supporting the Living,” will be given by Bucky Peterson. Col. Peterson is a retired U.S. Marine now working with California State University on behalf of veterans seeking higher education. The Sausalito Presbyterian Choir will sing under the direction of Ralph Hooper. Refreshments start outside at noon, the service an hour later. The public is welcome to attend.