PALMDALE – More than 150 people gathered in front of the AV Wall Sunday for a ceremony to remember and honor veterans.
“To all veterans from all of us, we thank you for our freedom and our heritage,” said Master of Ceremonies Daniel Kirmel.
The annual Veterans Day Ceremony moved from its traditional location at Desert Lawn Memorial Park this year to Palmdale Amphitheater to coincide with the display of the Mobile Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall for the Antelope Valley (AV Wall).
The event began at 11 a.m. with a moment of silence, in remembrance of all veteran sacrifices, followed by an invocation by John E. A. Clarke of Sons of American Legion Post 311.
“Let us all never forget that we are all forever in their debt,” Clarke said. “Today is as much a celebration of their accomplishments as it is a memorial to their cause.”
The Pledge of Allegiance and singing of the National Anthem was led by Bobby Breech. Then Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford thanked the community for overwhelmingly supporting him through his recent health crisis, before urging the community to show that same kind of support for its veterans.
“We need to continue to show this kind of support, not only as a community but as individuals,” Ledford said. “Our veterans make it all happen… we would not be here without their sacrifices, their commitment.”
American Legion 348 Commander, Ken Branam, urged audience members to honor the sacrifices of that special group of veterans we don’t here enough about.
“There are more than 1.2 million women in America that have worn the uniform,” Branam said. “Women are major contributors to our military presence in Afghanistan, and many have given their lives in the global war on terrorism.”
VFW Post 3552 Commander, Rose Ferguson, encouraged residents to approach veterans on the street with a word of thanks for their service.
“I encourage our citizens to go up to those men and women and shake a hand and give a hug and give them a word of thanks and praise,” Ferguson said. “May God bless our veterans, may God bless all who are wearing a uniform and may God bless the USA.
The Veterans Day ceremony also included a Table of Honor Ceremony by the Highland High School Air Force JROTC and the reading of the poem titled “What Did You Do in the War Mommy?” by Daughters of the American Revolution Registrar Viola Lawrence. The ceremony was presented by the Antelope Valley Service Organization Association (AVSOA).
They will be another Veterans Day Ceremony tomorrow in Lancaster. The historic Lancaster Cemetery will host a Veterans Day ceremony on Monday, November 12 at 10 a.m. at the Veterans Court of Honor, located at 111 East Lancaster Boulevard. The event is free and open to the community.
View a few more sights from the Sunday’s Veterans Day Ceremony below.