Veterans Day will be marked in Los Angeles County today by a parade in the northeast San Fernando Valley and observances in several other communities amid calls from Mayor Eric Garcetti and President Barack Obama for year-round support for veterans.
Retired Marine Corps Capt. Dale Dye will be the grand marshal of the 11th annual San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade, which will begin at 11:11 a.m. at the corner of Laurel Canyon and San Fernando Mission boulevards in Mission Hills and end 1.1 miles to the south at Richie Valens Park at Laurel Canyon and Paxton Street in Pacoima.
A carnival in the park will follow the parade.
The starting time is a nod to World War I ending on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.
Parade participants include the marching bands from Arleta, Beverly Hills, Bravo, Chatsworth, San Fernando and Van Nuys high schools and the Vaughn International Studies Academy and the Junior ROTC units from Cleveland, El Camino Real, Hawthorne, Monroe, Reseda, Van Nuys and West Adams Preparatory high schools and the North Valley Military Institute.
Dye served 21 years in the Marine Corps, including 31 combat operations in Vietnam. He deployed to Lebanon and trained troops in El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica in the 1980s.
Upset with Hollywood’s treatment of the American military, he established Warriors Inc., a military training and advisory service to the entertainment industry. He has worked on more than 50 movies and television series.
Veterans Day observances are also planned for Forest Lawn Memorial Park-Hollywood Hills, Pasadena, Carson, Commerce, Palmdale, Redondo Beach, El Monte and Lynwood.
Forest Lawn Memorial Park-Hollywood Hills will begin its 55th annual Veterans Day program at 11 a.m. It will include an aerial performance by the Golden Stars Skydiving Team, patriotic music and military displays. A job fair for veterans will begin at noon.
Pasadena’s Veterans Day Ceremony will be held from 10-11:11 a.m. and include displays of military vehicles and music by the Pasadena City College Band. Historic military aircraft will fly over City Hall at 10:45 a.m.
A patriotic celebration will begin at Carson’s Veterans Park at 10 a.m. with traditional military rites, including a flag folding and empty chair ceremony. New names that were added to Carson’s Veterans Wall will be presented during the event.
Commerce’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony, which will begin at 10 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park, will feature a resource section where organizations will provide veterans with free programs and services.
Participants include Walgreens, which will offer free flu shots to all veterans with a Department of Veterans Affairs card and to residents with a Medicare or prescription usage card. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers will accept applications for its Electrical Training Institute and Veterans to Work program.
Habitat for Humanity will provide information about its free veterans home repair program and home ownership and youth programs. Representatives of the Hook-Up Resource Center will connect veterans with other organizations that provide information about services, including pensions, medical benefits, claims assistance and employment services.
The Antelope Valley Service Organization Association will begin its annual Veterans Day Ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Palmdale Amphitheater. Mayor Jim Ledford will speak and the Highland High School Travel Ensemble will sing “God Bless America” and the national anthem. The Mobile Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall for the Antelope Valley will be on display until 11 p.m.
The Redondo Beach Veterans Day Tribute will be held from 1-2 p.m. at Veterans Park and will by highlighted by the donation of the Veterans Memorial Plaza Mosaic, a portrayal of the American flag created by Mexican artist Gani Guerrero.
The donation will be made by Gilberto Antonio Hiratra Chico, the mayor of Ensenada, Mexico, Redondo Beach’s sister city.
A 9 a.m. ceremony at El Monte City Hall will include a reading of the Veterans Day poem and music performed by the Mountain View High School band.
A wreath-laying ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. at Lynwood City Hall.
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 as Veterans Day. From 1971-1977, Veterans Day was held in late October. A 1975 law returned it to Nov. 11, beginning in 1978.
“As Angelenos enjoy the day off, I hope they remember this is also a day to honor the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, who indeed deserve our support every day of the year,” Garcetti said.
Garcetti also reminded veterans they can find help with employment, housing, mental health care and health care though the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, whose website is located at lamayor.org/vets.
Obama devoted his Saturday radio address to veterans, calling for the public to “honor our veterans by making sure they get their shot at the American dream that they risked their lives to defend by helping them find jobs worthy of their skills and talents.”