PALMDALE – Nearly 200 people gathered at the Palmdale Amphitheater Friday evening (11/8/13) for an opening ceremony for the Mobile Veterans Memorial of the Antelope Valley (AV Wall).
The solemn hour-long ceremony included the posting of colors by a multi-branch JR-ROTC Color Guard; a Table of Honor Ceremony conducted by Highland High School Air Force JROTC as Master Sergeant Gerald Lockwood played Battle Hymn of the Republic on trumpet; a musical performance by Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jen Housholder; a 21-gun salute; and speeches and reflections from Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford, Major Conrad Hernandez, and Vietnam Veteran George Palermo.
“Veterans Day is for those of us who survived, those of us who made it through,” Palermo said. “But for each and every one of us, we can’t be honored on Veterans Day without, ourselves, remembering our brothers and sisters who didn’t make it back.”
The AV Wall contains the engraved names of 58,286 men and women who gave their lives or remain missing, including 76 fallen heroes with ties to the Antelope Valley.
“This wall is a symbol of peace and it’s a healing wall,” Vietnam War veteran Phil Roberts said after the ceremony.
The AV Wall will be on display (with 24-hour-a-day public access) through Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 8 a.m., to allow veterans and community members a time for reflection and healing.
A Veterans Day Ceremony in front of the AV Wall is set for Monday, Nov. 11, beginning at 11 a.m.
Sights from the AV Wall Opening Ceremony