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UPDATED: Blue Star Moms host Memorial Day honors

Annual tribute to troops, vets and fallen heroes

Posted: May 25, 2008 1:54 a.m.
Updated: July 26, 2008 5:02 a.m.

California State Assemblyman Cameron Smyth (R-Santa Clarita), far left, who has a brother in the military, and Santa Clarita City Councilwoman Marsha McLean, whose son is in the service, join Marine Cpl. Steve Leon (center, in uniform) and Army Ranger Kyle Griffin (right, fatigues), their families and members of SCV Blue Star Mothers Chapter 91 ...

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The SCV Blue Star Mothers Chapter 91 hosted their annual Memorial Day Ceremony Sunday morning in front of Santa Clarita City Hall, with California Assemblyman Cameron Smyth (R-Santa Clarita) and Santa Clarita City Councilwoman Marsha McLean the main speakers.

They both addressed the small crowd of military veterans and family members from a temporary stage in the shadow of trees the Mothers have decorated with stars, each representing a Santa Clarita Valley-connected member of the armed forces, or a fallen hero who paid the ultimate price in combat.

The event began with a color guard from Golden Valley High School leading the Pledge of Allegiance. A recording of the National Anthem was played on the public address system.

Chapter President Sandy Baer, whose son will soon embark on his fourth tour in Iraq, led the ceremony, at times choking up. Other Mothers capably stepped in to help.

McLean, whose son is in the Marine Corps, is a longtime Blue Star Mother and supporter of the group's efforts.

Smyth has a brother in the service and spoke of the importance of the support the Blue Star Mothers provide for families with loved ones far away from home.

Baer noted the old stars in the trees had been replaced with new, more weather-resistant ones. 

She and other Blue Star Mothers read the names of SCV-connected members of the military by branch, including a dozen who have died in the service.

In the audience was local Army Ranger Kyle Griffin, along with his parents and grandmother. Griffin is home on leave from his base in Georgia, he said, and awaiting his next assignment. He has not yet been overseas.

Also on hand was USMC Cpl. Steven Leon, accompanied by his sister and infant niece. He had just returned from a seven-month tour in Iraq.

"I was working to provide communications so Iraqi units could ultimately take over and start handling their own business," Leon said. He added he was not planning to return to Iraq.

For more information about the Blue Star Mothers, contact Baer at (661) 251-4395.


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