The 24-hour patriotic vigil began at 10 am, Sunday, May 26 and concluded at 10 am, Monday, May 27. It was followed by a memorial service. The program was presented by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4696, American Legion Post 804, Sons of The Legion Post 804, Hispanic Airborne Assoc., American GI Forum, CSM Ray Verdugo 82nd Airborne, Ladies Auxiliary Post 804/Post 4696, and Marine Corp League DET. 1347.
Garfield High School participated in the event with the military presence of our JROTC cadets (Bulldawg Battalion) and the musical interludes performed by our Bulldog Marching Band.
Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti attended the event. As a reservist in the Navy, Garcetti attended in full uniform. He told CBS2′s Dave Lopez that he has attended the vigil for years in honor of his grandfather who served in World War II.
Garcetti took the occasion to say that it’s time Los Angeles treat returning veterans with more respect and make it easier for them to acclimate back into society.
The following article is written by Sgt. 1st Class Corey Beal written for the DVIDS.
Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Megan Tatu, joined elected officials, veterans and more than 300 community members to honor our Nation’s fallen heroes, May 27, at Cinco Puntos in East Los Angeles.
“This day is not meant to be a day of solemn mourning, but rather, a day of reverent celebration - honoring the character, strength, courage, and moral fortitude of the generations of men and women who answered the Nation’s call as ordinary citizens, to be placed in extraordinary circumstances,” said Tatu, commanding general of the 79th Sustainment Support Command.
Among those in attendance were Mayor-Elect Eric Garcetti, California Assembly Speaker John Perez., California Speaker of Assembly, 14th District Councilman Jose Huizar, and U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador Mike Teilman.
“Since 1947, members of the military, veterans, their families, public officials, and citizens of local and neighboring communities, have all come together here on Memorial Day to honor and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this country,” said Tatu. “...and I am incredibly humbled to be a part of this very special event.”
In the twenty-four hours leading up to the observance, veterans, active serving military personnel, law enforcement, public officials and citizens had all taken turns standing watch at the All Wars Memorial at the site.
Tatu stood the final watch standing side by side with Perez.
“That Vigil, which was established seven years ago by local veteran organizations, is one of the first in the country... And I cannot think of a more appropriate or respectful act to honor those who have passed in our name,” said Tatu.
As the guest observance’s speaker, Tatu spoke to the crowd of the cost paid for the freedoms we enjoy as American’s.
“Since the inception of our Nation, more than 1.3 million Americans have sacrificed their lives while preparing for or engaging in the final extreme to fight for our Country,” said Tatu. “More than 850,000 were combat related deaths… and since 9/11… more than 6,700 service members have given their lives during operations overseas.”
Tatu closed her remarks with a request.
“I ask you as we remember the fallen, that you also keep close those who stand shoulder to shoulder against terror and oppression to carry freedom’s torch in foreign land,” said Tatu. “Remember our men and women in uniform support their Families, never forget the missing and rejoice in the Freedom we are so blessed to share.”
Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/107623/fallen-heroes-honored-66th-annual-all-wars-memorial-east-los-angeles#ixzz2Uu6JR3AC
For more pictures see our Photo Album.