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Remembering: Memorial Day 2009, Eternal Valley

Posted: May 25, 2009 6:45 p.m.
Updated: May 26, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Locals stand on top of the hill at Eternal Valley Memorial Park as more than 850 SCV veteran names were read aloud at the Memorial Wall on Monday morning.

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Hundreds of local veterans and their families spent Memorial Day at Eternal Valley Memorial Park in Newhall to pay tribute to America's veterans.

"Today we say thank you to our military veterans - those who have lived and those who have died," said Santa Clarita City Councilman Bob Kellar.

"If it were not for our veterans, there would be no America as we know it today."

Kellar, who served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1967, shared a series of stories about local veterans.

"They're everyday Americans who have risen to the occasion to do what is right to defend this country," Kellar said.

Monday's morning ceremony marked the 21st service Eternal Valley has hosted for Memorial Day.

Memorial Day began in 1868 to mark the fallen of the Civil War.

"Memorial Day has evolved over the years to honor all those who have died in service," said David Zucker, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Veterans Memorial Committee.

With row after row of flag-marked graves behind them, speakers gathered on stage to pay their respects to those who protect the United States.

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts spent Saturday morning placing American flags at 5,102 graves of veterans.

Congressman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon took the podium to share his support.

"I want to honor these men and women again for their service and sacrifice," said McKeon, R-Santa Clarita.

The ceremony included two flyovers, one of World War II AT-6 aircrafts and another of the U.S. Air Force's C-17 that thundered through the clear skies.

Along with the speakers and flyovers, the ceremony featured a series of performances by the Santa Clarita Valley Concert Band and presentations from the William S. Hart Union High School District's Junior ROTC cadets.

After the ceremony, families gathered on the hilltop Memorial Wall at Eternal Valley where the names of more than 800 local veterans who have died were read aloud.

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