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Santa Clarita Valley to honor its war dead

n Community plans Memorial Day events to reflect, appreciate those who served

Posted: May 19, 2009 10:02 p.m.
Updated: May 20, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Residents across the Santa Clarita Valley will take time this upcoming weekend to remember those who died in service to their country.

Memorial Day is Monday, May 25. Parades and pageantry are woven into the holiday’s celebration. However, for many veterans, Memorial Day is a time for reflection.

“Most of us don’t think about ourselves on Memorial Day,” said Larry Goodwin, manager of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6110 in Canyon Country. He served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. “We think of our buddies, the guys we lost and how things could have been different,” he added.

The often solemn holiday will begin with a somber reminder of the toll war takes on communities. Santa Clarita Valley Boy Scouts and Girl Scout troops will plant flags at the graves of veterans interred at Eternal Valley Memorial Park in Newhall on Saturday, said Duane Harte, Veterans’ Memorial Committee board member.

“It’s a very moving experience to see that sea of flags,” he said.

The flag-planting event is open to the public and will begin at 9 a.m.

On Monday, the Veterans’ Memorial Committee will host its annual Memorial Day event at Eternal Valley starting at 10 a.m., Harte said. Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce Chairman Bill Kennedy will serve as master of ceremonies of the event, which will feature music by the Santa Clarita Valley Concert Band.

The invocation for Monday’s ceremony will be delivered by Rev. William Hilton of Fellowship Christian Church in Saugus.

The Eternal Valley Memorial Day ceremony will feature a fly-over by a C-17 transport airplane accompanied by a small squadron of vintage fighter planes, Harte said.

When the events at Eternal Valley wrap up, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6110 in Canyon Country will host a barbecue open to the public, Goodwin said.

The VFW barbecue starts at 1 p.m. and runs until 6 p.m. or when all the food is gone, Goodwin said.

For Harte, this Memorial Day marks his 10th as a member of the Veteran’s Memorial Committee. Each year he marvels at the size of the Memorial Day ceremonies and the care the community shows for veterans.

“As a retired vet, going to this event means a lot. The crowd of people who come out to support vets grows every year,” he said.



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