LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Mayor Eric Garcetti was the grand marshal of today’s
10th. annual San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade, the first elected
official to have that honor.
Only veterans, active duty military members and reservists such as
Garcetti, a lieutenant in the Naval Reserve, are allowed to ride in the parade.
Elected officials with no connection to the military sit in the reviewing
The parade began at 11:11 a.m. at the corner of Laurel Canyon and San
Fernando Mission boulevards in Mission Hills. The starting time is a nod to
World War I ending on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.
The route ended more than one mile south at Richie Valens Park at Laurel Canyon
and Paxton Street in Pacoima, where a carnival was scheduled.
Garcetti said being the grand marshal is “a small way to express my
appreciation for our veterans, but I have to admit as someone who grew up in
the valley, it’s nice to come back home at the front of this parade.”
Garcetti told City News Service he hopes “that as people enjoy their
day off, they keep the true meaning of this day in mind and take the time to
say thank you to a veteran. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who put
their lives on the line to protect us.”
Los Angeles can expect 24,000 veterans returning from Afghanistan and
Iraq, Garcetti said.
“Veterans Day reminds me of the work we have to do to make sure their
sacrifices are honored and that they are respected with any support they
need,” Garcetti said.
Veterans Day observances were also planned for Forest Lawn Memorial Park-
Hollywood Hills, Pasadena, El Monte, West Hollywood, Palmdale, Norwalk,
Commerce and Skid Row.
The 54th. annual Veterans Day program at Forest Lawn Memorial Park-
Hollywood Hills was to include an aerial performance by the Golden Stars
Skydiving Team, patriotic music, and a speech by retired Staff Sgt. Jeremiah
Pauley from the Wounded Warrior Project.
A job and resource fair for veterans will continue until 4 p.m.
Pasadena’s Veterans Day Ceremony was moved to in front of City Hall at
Centennial Square, with a special emphasis on honoring the nation’s youngest
and newest veterans from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Sheriff Lee Baca, Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and Pasadena City College
professor Harold Martin were the scheduled speakers at a ceremony that was due
to conclude with a flyover by the Condor Squadron of World War II-era planes.
Dozens of Army and Navy recruits were to be sworn into service at a
ceremony at El Monte City Hall. The ceremony was also to include a presentation
of the colors by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10218 and American Legion Post
261 and music by the El Monte High School marching band.
Mayor Abbe Land was scheduled to speak at West Hollywood’s annual
Veterans Day Ceremony at the Mayor Abbe Land
intersection of Holloway Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard.
Commerce’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony was due to include a static
display of military vehicles, and veterans were due to discuss their
experiences in the armed services and why they chose to serve their country.
Ceremonies were also scheduled in Palmdale, featuring the Palmdale
Madrigal Singers and Mayor Jim Ledford; Norwalk, where World War II Army
veteran Ernesto Gallegos was to deliver the keynote address; and Redondo Beach,
where retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Melvin G. Spiese was due to deliver the
keynote address and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Beverly Hills, and Assemblyman Al
Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, chairman of the Assembly Veterans Committee, were also
due to speak.
A barbecue picnic organized by the Redondo Elks was scheduled to follow.
Choctal, a Pasadena-based ice cream company, was due to conduct a
Veterans Day Ice Cream Social at the Union Rescue Mission; and an observance
was planned at the Midnight Mission.
Veterans Day has its roots in a proclamation issued by President Woodrow
Wilson in November 1919, a year after World War I ended, designating Nov. 11
as Armistice Day. States soon starting declaring Nov. 11 a legal holiday.
Congress made it a federal holiday in 1938, dedicated to the cause of world
In 1954, following World War II and the Korean War, Congress, at the
urging of veterans service organizations, passed a law renaming Armistice Day
as Veterans Day. From 1971-1977, Veterans Day was held in late October. A 1975
law returned it to Nov. 11, beginning in 1978.