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Veterans honored in SCV ceremonies

Posted: November 11, 2009 3:25 p.m.
Updated: November 11, 2009 3:47 p.m.

Flags are lowered and a new set are raised during the Changing of the Flags ceremony during the Veterans Day Program held at Veterans Historical Plaza in Newhall on Wednesday.

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Veterans from nearly every major American war, including Iraq and Afghanistan, were recognized for their service at the city's third annual Veterans Day Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Plaza, Wednesday.

The plaza was festooned with various versions of Old Glory -- including a handful of spectators who wore the flag on hats and t-shirts.

People flooded the plaza and had to line the perimeter of the park to find room to view the ceremony. Veterans spanning at least seven decades provided some of the most riveting perspectives on the day.

At the ceremony, Mayor Pro-Tem Laurene Weste dedicated 11 plaques that chronicle every major war in U.S. history, from the Revolution to the first Persian Gulf War.

There is one blank plaque at the end of the display which will eventually commemorate the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan, she said. The plaque has already been donated by a family whose son was killed in the Iraq war.

Each $1,500 plaque was donated to the city by businesses, organizations and private citizens, Weste said. The plaques are at the rear of the plaza, behind a bronze statue of a Civil War-era drummer boy and line either side of three fountains.

While most of the festivities were somber and reflective, two members of Valencia High School's ROTC earned loud applause after they performed a rifle-flipping exhibition. Kelvin Ulloa, who choregraphed the exhibition, and Patrick Dunkel said they had practiced the routine since the summer.

Before the ceremony ended, all veterans in attendance gathered at the front of the park for a photo taken by city photographers.

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