Memorial Day, Monday May 28, was marked locally with a services at Los Angeles National Cemetery and Woodlawn Cemetery. Scouts placed more than 90,000 flags in front of headstones at the National Cemetery where the service was conducted by Veterans Affairs and attended by residents, veterans, local dignitaries and politicians.
For Santa Monicans, Memorial Day garnered a range of emotions, memories at reflections. Resident Bob Taylor posted a poignant image of his father’s returned belongings on Facebook, prompting The Mirror to ask locals what Memorial Day meant them.
For Taylor, who as a very young boy was in a home for children with his brother while his father fought in WWII, Memorial Day is a time of reflection. “When Memorial Day comes around these days, we post pictures of our lost loved ones, or as I did this time, the box his ‘things’ came to us in. I thought it appropriate to do that as a reminder that there is a reality to the deaths that are associated with war. In this case, two little boys now without a dad.
“I doubt that my experience is much different than all the others that lost their fathers early in life due to wars. In our case, my brother and I were living in a home for children prior to his death as our mother worked and apparently felt she couldn’t take care of us alone while he was gone. It was the war years. So you grow up without a father, and that has all sorts of emotional elements that stay with you all your life. But it is an all too common story, and sadly not that unique. I had not seen him since I was 3 or 4, and was 6 when he died and well remember his burial at WLA Vet Cemetery.”
“My grandmother’s cousin died in combat and is on the WWI memorial,” said Cindy Morales who went to Santa Monica’s Woodlawn cemetery and marked the event at home. “[I] Flew my father’s flag Monday and prayed for a niece currently deployed in Afghanistan.
Janet Carter saw the day as a, “Reflection of my Dad, a WW2 and Korean War veteran, and of my brother, a VN vet. I also thought of the veterans interned in our national cemeteries.”
Resident Phil Brock attended Woodlawn, “I was reminded of our community’s sacrifices since the Spanish American War in the tombstones and monuments on our own hallowed ground.”
For local peace activist Jerry Rubin, his efforts are year-round, “We can remember and honor our veterans best by working hard to promote peace and end all wars.”
“This Memorial Day I am reminded that all of us who never have served must also fight for our freedoms,” commented John Cyrus Smith on Facebook, his sentiments echoed online by Zoe Muntaner, offering “profound gratitude for the people that put their life on the line.”
Heather Levenson Goren has started a fundraiser for Veterans suffering PTSD – check it out at www.gofundme.com/veteran-and-1st-responder-ptsd-org.