New events marking Veterans Day will be held Friday on the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Campus and aboard the battleship Iowa, along with long-running events elsewhere in Los Angeles County.
The inaugural America’s Parade: LA will begin at 11 a.m., led by former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, the grand marshal. Lasorda served in the U.S. Army from 1945 through 1947. Marchers will advance southeast on Bonsall Avenue, passing a grandstand just beyond Wilshire Boulevard, before completing the one-mile route.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will deliver remarks before the parade.
The inaugural Veterans Day Music Festival will be held from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on the Iowa, which is docked at the Port of Los Angeles. The opening ceremony will begin at 11 a.m., followed by musical performances at noon. Bands set to play include Purple Sugar and Paseo. Admission is free for veterans and active duty military members with identification. The 57th annual Forest Lawn Memorial Park-Hollywood Hills’ Veterans Day program will begin at 11 a.m. It will include an aerial performance by the Golden Stars Skydiving Team, patriotic music and military displays. The 13th annual San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade will begin at 11:11 a.m. at the corner of Laurel Canyon and San Fernando Mission boulevards in Mission Hills and proceed south on Laurel Canyon Boulevard 1.1 miles to Richie Valens Park, where a carnival will be held. Retired U.S. District Judge Harry Pregerson, a World War II veteran, will be the grand marshal. 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.
Baldwin Park’s 25th annual Veterans Day ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. at Morgan Park. It will be highlighted by the Golden Stars Skydiving Team, whose primary parachute jumper Jay Fragoso will be making his 2,771st career jump as he concludes his career as a demonstration jumper in Baldwin Park. This will be Fragoso’s 23rd year performing at Baldwin Park’s event.
A 67-year-old skydiver was injured at last year’s ceremony when the large American flag he was carrying became tangled in a tree, causing him to crash to the ground, according to program supervisor Yuriko Ruizesparza. That skydiver will be part of the ground crew, Ruizesparza said.
The Veterans Day and Welcome Home Celebration from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System will have live entertainment, a car show, children’s play area and games from the entire family.
The Redondo Beach Veterans Day ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. at Veterans Park. It will include reflection and remembrance and music. The keynote speech will be delivered by Army Brig. Gen. John W. Lathrop, the commander of the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos. Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, and Assemblyman David Hadley, R-Manhattan Beach, will also speak. A barbecue picnic in the Redondo Elks Lodge parking lot will follow the program. Veterans Day ceremonies are also planned for Boyle Heights, Duarte, El Sereno, Palmdale, Pasadena and West Hollywood.
“Americans owe a tremendous debt to all who have worn our nation’s uniform,” Garcetti said. “We are free because they fought, and secure because they served.
Our obligation is to answer their sacrifice by supporting our armed forces on battlefields abroad and in neighborhoods here at home. It is our moral responsibility to pay tribute to our veterans, to the fallen, and to their families, by working tirelessly to give them the care, homes, and employment that they have earned.”
In his Veterans Day proclamation, President Barack Obama said, “The example our nation’s veterans set throughout their lives is a testament to the drive and perseverance that define the American character. Let us uphold our obligations to these heroic individuals and never forget those who paid the ultimate price for our liberty.
On this day and throughout the year, may we sustain their lasting contributions to our nation’s progress and carry forward their legacy by building a future that is stronger, safer, and freer for all.”
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 peace.
In 1954, following World War II and the Korean War, Congress, at the urging of veterans service organizations, passed a law renaming Armistice Day Veterans Day. From 1971-1977, Veterans Day was held in late October. A 1975 law returned it to Nov. 11, beginning in 1978.
—City News Service
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