By Mary O’KEEFE
The community is invited to join in the celebration of Veterans’ Day with members of the American Legion Post 288 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1614 at the Two Strike Park War Memorial.
This will be the first Veterans’ Day celebration at the newly constructed memorial wall that had its dedication in September.
The wall was a labor of love – and respect – started by members of the local American Legion and VFW. The wall that was previously at Two Strike Park was too small to add any names and was in disrepair. For years the veterans worked to raise funds to build a new wall that would be able to add the names of the fallen. The community and local organizations worked together to raise funds.
The September dedication was solemn and emotional.
“The American Legion and VFW, both [believe] that a way to honor those who [died in service] is to assist the living, “ said Mike Baldwin, Vietnam veteran and member of both VFW and American Legion.
That was the motivation behind the wall. But Veterans’ Day is an opportunity to recognize those for the service they gave.
“It is a day of pride for those who served their country. It is a day we say we recognize you and we thank you,” he said.
The veterans will be holding a vigil at Two Strike Park War Memorial beginning at noon on Nov. 11. Then at 3 p.m. a ceremony will begin with a salute to the military conducted by the Crescenta Valley High School JROTC under the leadership of Lt. Col. Dave Worley.
Boy Scout Troop 288, based out of the American Legion, will also hold a flag retirement. The flag retirement is a respectful way to dispose of torn, tattered and unwanted American flags.
Also in honor of Veterans’ Day, the Angeles National Forest will offer visitors a fee-free weekend. The normally required National Forest Adventure Pass will be waived.
“In honor of our nation’s veterans, we would like to encourage people to use this fee-free weekend to get outdoors and enjoy the wonderful recreational opportunities on the Angeles National Forest,” Thomas A. Contreras, forest supervisor, said in a prepared statement.
Visitors who inadvertently use a Daily Adventure Pass this weekend can have it replaced free of charge. Though the Adventure Pass fee will be waived, campground, reservation, group-site and concession fees may still be in effect.
Veterans’ Day was started at the end of World War I. Although the official end to “The Great War” was on June 28, 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, the fighting had actually ended earlier, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. That is why Veterans’ Day is celebrated on Nov. 11.