Veterans Day events were held throughout Los Angeles County Thursday, including Dodger Stadium, where approximately 200 active-duty service members and veterans took batting practice and pitched in the bullpens.
“To just see people from different walks of life, all coming together, smiling… having a good time. It’s a good pick-me-up,” Khari al-Mateen, who served in the Navy, told ABC7.
Pasadena’s salute to veterans included Supervisor Kathryn Barger discussing 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 also provided “a reminder there are veterans who need our help as they reintegrate back into their communities,” an aide said.
A Veterans Day ceremony and resource fair were held 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 were distributed.
Supervisor Janice Hahn spoke “about our duty to veterans,” at Redondo Beach’s Veterans Day Tribute at Veterans Park, an aide said.
Veterans Day ceremonies were also held at Veterans Park in Carson, the McCambridge Park War Memorial in Burbank, Poncitlán Square Gazebo in Palmdale, Two Strike Park in La Crescenta and American Legion Post 43 in Hollywood.
Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills conducted a virtual Veterans Day Celebration for the second consecutive year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The celebration honored 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 was delivered by actress Jennifer Marshall, a second lieutenant in the California State Guard and a Navy veteran. Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin also spoke.
The 62nd annual Veterans Day Celebration can be seen at Facebook.com/ForestLawn at 11 a.m.
West Hollywood’s Veterans Day ceremony can be seen on its YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/wehotv. Its theme was “Salute to Women Veterans,” and included speeches by Jodie Grenier, CEO of the Foundation for Women Warriors, and Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.
The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Labor Community Services, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank conducted a Veterans Day food distribution at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach.
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.”