Veterans Day events will be held Thursday in Pasadena, East Los Angeles, Palmdale and Redondo Beach while West Hollywood and Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills will hold virtual events.
The 62nd annual Veterans Day Celebration at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills will be streamed at Facebook.com/ForestLawn at 11 a.m.
The celebration will honor members of the U.S. military with a flyover of planes used in World War II training missions by the Condor Squadron, and musical performances by the Band of the California Battalion.
The keynote speech will be delivered by actress Jennifer Marshall, a second lieutenant in the California State Guard and a Navy veteran. Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin will also speak.
“The City of Pasadena Salutes Our Veterans” will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Pasadena City Hall.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger will discuss Los Angeles County’s commitment to supporting veterans, including the Department of Mental Health’s new Los Angeles County Veteran Peer Access Network, job placement assistance offered by Los Angeles County Workforce Development, Aging & Community Services and the sheriff’s department’s Veterans Mental Evaluation Team.
Barger will also “provide a reminder there are veterans who need our help as they reintegrate back into their communities,” an aide said.
Other speakers include Brig. Gen. David G. Smith, special assistant to the commanding general of the California State Guard, and Pasadena Mayor Victor M. Gordo.
The event is set to conclude at 11:11 a.m. with a close formation low-altitude flyover by the Condor Squadron. It will be streamed on www.pasadenamedia.org/channel/kpas.
A Veterans Day ceremony and resource fair will be held from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Eugene A. Obregon Park in East Los Angeles featuring several Los Angeles County agencies and departments providing services such as mental health resources, workforce development opportunities and housing assistance. Free clothing and food boxes will be distributed.
Scheduled speakers include Emmy-winning actor Edward James Olmos, Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis and California Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Vito D. Imbasciani.
Palmdale will conduct a Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Poncitlán Square Gazebo. The keynote speech will be delivered by Kevin Sanders, Palmdale’s 2021 Veteran of the Year. A Veterans Day poem will be recited by Carl Hernandez, the first vice commander of American Legion Post 348.
West Hollywood will stream its Veterans Day ceremony beginning at 11 a.m. on its YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/wehotv. The theme is “Salute to Women Veterans,” and will include speeches by Jodie Grenier, CEO of the Foundation for Women Warriors, and Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.
Redondo Beach’s Veterans Day Tribute will begin at 1 p.m. at Veterans Park. The keynote speaker is U.S. Air Force Col. Becky M. Beers, the garrison commander of the Los Angeles Air Force Base.
Supervisor Janice Hahn speak about “about our duty to veterans,” an aide said. Senator Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, and Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand are also set to speak.
A barbecue in the adjacent Elks Lodge parking lot will follow the tribute. The barbecue is free to all veterans and members of the military, police officers and firefighters. A $5 donation is requested from all others.
Veterans Day ceremonies will also be held at the McCambridge Park War Memorial in Burbank at 11 a.m. and the American Legion’s Post 43 in Hollywood at 1 p.m.
Veterans Day benefits include free admission to Aquarium of the Pacific for veterans and active duty military personnel and a 50% discount at all restaurants at the Commerce Casino with proof of active military duty.
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 started 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.
“For generations, millions of Americans have answered the call to serve — taking the sacred oath to defend and preserve our nation’s ideals of liberty and democracy,” President Joe Biden said in his Veterans Day proclamation.
“These patriots represent the best of us. On Veterans Day, we honor their service, dedication and valor and are forever grateful for their sacrifice. Our nation has only one truly sacred obligation — to properly prepare and equip our service members when we send them into harm’s way and to care for them and their families when they return home.
“For our 19 million veterans, that means ensuring that they have access to the support and resources for a future of security, opportunity, and dignity.”