Parade, Commemorations Set For Veterans Day

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A parade is scheduled in Mission Hills today to mark Veterans Day while commemorations are set for El Monte and West Hollywood although poor air quality caused by the Woolsey Fire could prompt changes.

The 15th annual San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade will begin at 11:11 a.m. at the corner of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and San Fernando Mission Boulevard in Mission Hills and proceed south on Laurel Canyon Boulevard for 1.1 miles.

The time is a nod to the date in 1918 of the armistice that ended World War I.

An opening ceremony will be held at 10:35 a.m. at the intersection of Brand Boulevard and Laurel Canyon Boulevard.

Parade rules limit participation to veterans, Marines, soldiers, sailors, Air Force and Coast Guard personnel, high school bands, ROTC units and Naval Sea Cadets.

More than 100 veterans groups are set to participate in the parade.

A Los Angeles County Fire Department Firehawk helicopter is set to buzz the parade route and review stand at 11:11 a.m. A squadron of Condor planes used in World War II training missions will fly in formation over the parade route from 11:35-11:40 a.m.

The grand marshal will be veterans assigned to the California Highway Patrol's West Valley Station. There will also be honorary grand marshals for the World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduing Freedom eras.

Battleship Iowa, which is docked at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, will have a Veterans Appreciation beginning at 10 a.m. A new memorial honoring San Pedro's veterans will be unveiled. Bands will perform.

Admission to the Battleship Iowa Museum will be free for active, retired and reserve military personnel.

The 59th annual Veterans Day event at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills will include a skydiving jump by the Golden Stars Skydiving Team, a flyover by The Condor Squad and a rifle salute by the Los Angeles Police Department Officer Mike McCarty of the LAPD Honor Guard. Organizers encourage guests to arrive at 10 a.m. The program begins at 11 a.m.

A Veterans Day ceremony will be held at Arceo Park in El Monte beginning at 9 a.m. It will feature a formal recognition of veterans, reading of the Veterans Day poem, and presentation of colors by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10218 and American Legion Post 261. The keynote speech will be delivered by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Gomez.

West Hollywood's ceremony honoring veterans will begin at 11 a.m. at the Sal Guarriello Veterans Memorial on Santa Monica Boulevard at Holloway Drive.

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 starting 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.

“On Veterans Day I always think about the 10,000 boys I talked to on a USO handshake tour in 1969,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who was best known before the start of her political career for her portrayal of Zelda Gilroy on the 1959-63 CBS comedy “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.”

“Many TV celebs went on these not to do shows but to talk to them one at a time. (Many) didn't make it home. This day honors their service and their sacrifices.”

Kuehl told City News Service on “this Veterans Day, I am also thinking about the many vets who need mental health treatment and housing.”

“In Los Angeles, we have placed increasing emphasis on reducing veteran homelessness and I am very glad that we will be opening new bridge housing at the West LA VA campus soon,” Kuehl said.

Photo: Getty Images

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