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Hundreds gather for Santa Clarita's Veterans Day celebration

Posted: November 11, 2012 3:16 p.m.
Updated: November 11, 2012 3:16 p.m.

Veterans salute as the flag is raised during the changing of the flag ceremony at the City of Santa Clarita Veterans Day Ceremony. (Dan Watson/The Signal)

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Hundreds of Santa Clarita community members gathered to salute veterans past, present and future at the city’s Veterans Day Ceremony on Sunday.

The event, held at Veterans Historical Plaza in Newhall, featured speakers, singers and solemnity as residents and city officials showed their respect and voiced their appreciation for veterans and those who are currently serving in the military.

“Whatever religion we are, wherever we worship, please give your prayers to those that have served throughout the 236 years of our nation,” Santa Clarita Mayor Frank Ferry told the crowd.

Members of the Knights of Columbus performed a ceremonial changing of the flags, lowering the flags flown at Veterans Historical Plaza for retirement and raising new ones that will fly until next Veterans Day.

Duane Harte, a Navy veteran and the master of ceremonies at the event, told attendees they could sit during the flag-changing ceremony, but most of the crowd remained standing until the last flag was replaced.

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, a retired Air Force master sergeant, compared military life to signing a blank check for an amount “up to and including (your) life” and said it was always important to remember the sacrifices veterans make so that civilians don’t have to.

“Every time you make a choice, remember those choices were made possible by hundreds of thousands and even millions of veterans who chose to be of service,” Lewis Fernandez said.

All members of the City Council spoke at the event, and each emphasized the honor that should follow military service. Councilman Bob Kellar, himself a U.S. Army veteran, asked that any veteran or currently serving military personnel in attendance stand to be recognized.

“There are so many people in our community that work together to make this the great community that we have here,” Kellar said.

After the program ended, veterans in attendance gathered together for a group photograph, their numbers filling the first three rows of chairs in front of the stage. That photograph will be posted for public viewing and downloading on the city’s website within a week.

lmoney@the-signal.com

661-287-5525

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