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Frank Ferry: Annual Veterans Day ceremony open to all

Live from City Hall

Posted: November 3, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 3, 2012 2:00 a.m.

In the Pledge of Allegiance, we state, “with liberty and justice for all,” meaning that each person in this country has the right to freedom and fairness. However, these privileges did not come without a cost. Millions of men and women have served and sacrificed to defend our country, so that Americans can enjoy rights like freedom and democracy.

Every year on Nov. 11, the nation celebrates and honors the bravery and sacrifice of its veterans that have served in war and peacetime. Formerly known as Armistice Day, Veterans Day was originally designated as a national holiday by many of the allied countries to commemorate the end of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. The first Armistice Day holiday in the U.S. took place on Nov. 11, 1919 by proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson to honor World War I veterans. After World War II, Congress modified the holiday to include all American veterans of war, changing its name to Veterans Day.

On Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, the city of Santa Clarita, along with several veterans groups and the community will host an important national holiday celebration to honor our country’s veterans and military families at the annual Santa Clarita Veterans Day Ceremony. The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Historical Plaza, located at the corner of Market and Walnut Street in Old Town Newhall.

As a sign of respect for those who are missing in action or prisoners of war in the current conflicts, the Santa Clarita Veterans Day Ceremony will begin with a MIA/POW reading by J.D. Kennedy at 11 a.m. Following the reading, the city’s Veterans Day Ceremony will continue with the changing of the flags by the Knights of Columbus Santa Clarita Assembly and representatives from various armed services recruiting offices.

I will happily be participating in the ceremony, which will also include addresses from local speakers, including: Mayor Pro Tem Bob Kellar, who is an Army veteran, Councilmembers TimBen Boydston, Marsha McLean, Laurene Weste, as well as Master Sgt. Eldonna Lewis Fernandez and Rabbi Mark Blazer. Duane Harte, who is a Navy veteran, will serve as the master of ceremonies.

The Veterans Day Ceremony will also feature performances of “God Bless the USA” and the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” by 4 of Hart’s. Local singer Gayle La Rone will perform “God Bless America.”

It’s important that all generations understand the true meaning of Veterans Day and the enormous sacrifices veterans have made to secure and defend the freedoms of the United States of America. Come join the city of Santa Clarita and other local partners to honor and support members of the armed services. The Santa Clarita Veterans Historical Plaza is located at 24275 N. Walnut St. in Old Town Newhall.

To all the veterans in Santa Clarita, I want to express my gratitude for your selfless service in peacetime and war, here in this nation and throughout the world. Thank you to all of the veterans who have honorably worn the uniform of this great nation.

For more information about the Santa Clarita Veterans Day Ceremony at the Veterans Historical Plaza in Old Town Newhall, please contact the City’s Arts and Events Office at 661-250-3787.

Frank Ferry is the city’s mayor and can be reached at


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