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Roundup: SCV honors fallen heroes Memorial Day weekend

Posted: May 28, 2010 3:59 p.m.
Updated: May 30, 2010 11:57 a.m.

Santa Clarita Valley residents will have plenty of opportunities to honor U.S. servicemen this Memorial Day weekend, including a special tribute at the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday to local servicemen killed in action.

Sebastian Saavedra will start 32nd for Bryan Herta Autosport, owned by Valencia resident Bryan Herta.

The vehicle will feature a logo with the words "The city of Santa Clarita remembers" followed by the names of nine SCV fallen warriors who died while serving since 2001, including: U.S. Army Spc. Stephen E. Colley; Army Sgt. John M. Conant; Army Spc. Jose Ricardo Flores-Mejia; Army Sgt. Ian Timothy D. Gelig; Army Pfc. Cole W. Larsen; Army Staff Sgt. Brian Cody Prosser; Army Sgt. Dennis L. Sellen, Jr.; U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard P. Slocum; and Army Pfc. Stephen E. Wyatt.

"It's important that we remember and honor the sacrifice they made for our freedom," Herta said.

Local veteran groups are aware of a few other fallen vets with connections to the Santa Clarita valley, but were unable to contact their next-of-kin to secure permission to display their names.

Those watching the race can follow the grey and fluorescent orange car, easily spotted by the sponsor name William Rast.

Eternal Valley tribute
Eternal Valley Memorial Park will host its 22nd annual Memorial Day celebration on Monday.

The Condor Squadron will fly overhead to mark the commencement of the Annual Tribute to Veterans. More than 500 area scouts and young marines will place more than 4,000 American flags on the graves of veterans.

The Master of Ceremonies will be Bill Kennedy, a retired Colonel of the U.S. Air Force, with guest speaker Patrick Connelly, retired Lt. Commander of United States Navy Reserve.

The end of the day will bring a special tribute to veterans of the Pacific Theater of World War II. The audience will be invited to the Memorial Wall for the reading of more than 850 inscribed names.

Scout honors veterans
Canyon High School freshman Patrick O'Brien will reveal a veterans memorial garden Monday at the Elks Lodge in Canyon Country.

O'Brien put in more than 600 hours of work for his Eagle Scout project to create the memorial, which features a 40-inch statue of a military serviceman saluting the American flag.

O'Brien, 15, said while working for more than a year on the project with the help of friends and family, he thought of his grandfathers who served with the U.S. Army in Germany during World War II, along with his neighbor who died in an ambush in Afghanistan.

On Sunday, he will reveal a dedication plaque to an expected crowd of 200 to 300 people.

Buckle up
California Highway Patrol has dubbed the weekend a "Maximum Enforcement Period" from 6 p.m. Friday to 11:59 p.m. Monday.

CHP made nearly 1,500 DUI arrests last year during the enforcement period and 45 people were killed on California's roadways, according to a CHP news release. Nearly half of those people were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, CHP reported.

"Insist everyone is properly restrained with a seat belt or child safety seat before starting your engine," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow in a written statement. "Those two seconds could save your life or the life of someone you love."

CHP has encouraged motorists to report drunk drivers and call 9-1-1.


Bryan Herta Autosport will honor local fallen warriors during the Indianapolis 500, to be aired on ABC-TV starting at 10 a.m. Pacific Time on Sunday.
Eternal Valley Memorial Park's annual Memorial Day celebration will start at 10 a.m. Monday at 23287 N. Sierra Highway, Newhall 91321.
Boy Scout Patrick O'Brien will reveal his veteran's memorial garden at noon Monday at the Elks Lodge, located at 17766 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country 91351.


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