LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Bells will be rung at 11 a.m. today throughout Southern California and the rest of the nation to mark the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.
“Bells of Peace: A World War One Remembrance” is a program of the World War One Centennial Commission to honor the American men and women who served during World War I.
Bells will be rung 21 times at 11 a.m. local time to mark the time the armistice ending hostilities went into effect. Bells will be tolled in places of worship, schools, city halls, public carillons and cemeteries.
A ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the armistice will be held at 10 a.m. at the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood.
The event will include four Southern California World War II veterans receiving the Legion of Honor, France's highest honor, from Christophe Lemoine, consul general of France in Los Angeles.
The veterans to be honored with the National Order of The Legion of Honor in the rank of chevalier (knight) are:
-- Arcadia resident Edward J. Lopez, who was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He was born in Los Angeles in July 1923, flew over 30 combat missions as a P-47 pilot with the 365th Fighter Bomber Group during World War II and over 100 combat missions in the Korean War in liaison aircraft.
Lopez's decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart, 10 Air Medals, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four battle stars, the Belgian Croix de Guerre Fourragere, the United Nations Service Medal and the Korean Service Medal.
-- Bellflower resident Baron S. Tag-Von Stein, who was a corporal in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was born in Los Angeles in August 1923. He served as an aircraft warning plotter with the 82nd Fighter Control Squadron in six European campaigns during World War II.
Tag-Von Stein's significant decorations include the EAME Campaign Medal with six battle stars, the Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the American Campaign Medal.
-- Fullerton resident Ventura H. De La Torre, who was a private first class in the U.S. Army. He was born in Los Angeles in June 1924. He was a howitzer truck driver with the 317th Infantry Regiment of the 80th Infantry Division during World War II.
De La Torre's significant decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, the EAME Campaign Medal with four battle stars and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
-- Hesperia resident Alfred E. Rocco, who was a private first class in the U.S. Army. He was born June 1922 in Casalvieri, Italy. He was a heavy machine gunner with the 12th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division in the Normandy, Northern France and Rhineland campaigns during World War II.
Rocco's significant decorations include the EAME Campaign Medal with three battle stars, the World War II Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
In his Veterans Day proclamation, President Donald Trump declared, “As we mark the centennial of the armistice, we remember the countless sacrifices that our country's heroic veterans have made throughout our history to preserve our liberty and prosperity. Our veterans embody the values and ideals of America and the timeless virtue of serving a greater cause.”
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