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Huntington Beach Memorial Dedication to Soldiers

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man with American flag photo

Memorial Day and patriotic celebrations are held in honor of the fallen at the California beaches.

Huntington Beach, Calif..―If you think patriotism is passé, take the time to attend one of the hundreds of celebrations in California honoring veterans and others serving in the name of the USA.  Congressmen, council members, mayors, military, and average citizens all take the time to remember lives lost on events such as Memorial Day, held the last Monday in May. See more photos

As the Huntington Beach High School Jazz Band performed under the direction of Greg Gilboe, people took their seats on the cement and stone seats of Pier Plaza amphitheater overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Huntington Beach Pier. Master of Ceremonies Lt. Col. Jim Ghormley, US Army Retired, called the one hour event to order. Basking in the cool breeze of a sunny, Southern California beach day, the event included the National Anthem, POW/MIA Banner presented by Huntington Beach Veterans, and then an opening prayer was offered by Rev. Peggy Price of the Church of Religious Science Seal Beach, and member of Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council.

Mayor Gil Coerper welcomed guests and introduced State Assemblyman Jim Silva. Introductions included Huntington Beach Veteran Groups: Jewish War Veterans post 595 - Larry Schnitzer, Commander; Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 11548 - Rich Enroth, Commander; and American Legion Post 133 - Ned Metsch, Commander.

Speaker Col. Jane Anderholt, Deputy Commander, Joint Forces Training Base offered a strong voice of leadership, and  inspiration. After he talk, Milt Cook, American Legion Post 133, made a presentation. Huntington Beach City Council Presentation Wreath, bagpipes by Andy Scott and Remembrance of our Fallen Heroes called out by Huntington Beach City Council Members Joe Carchio, Cathy Green, Don Hansen and City Treasurer Shari Freidenrich, were followed by a closing prayer. 

A musical interlude and Three Volley Rifle Salute from American Legion Post 133 Rifle Squad offered a solemn sound, ringing above the den of noise and merriment on the sand beaches below. Taps, a Congressional Welcome from Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (who lives in Huntington Beach), and the final Bagpipes ended the hour-long event that's grown in attendance each year. 

On the back cover of a printed program handed to attendees, "Lest We Forget Our Heroes of All Wars: In Tribute to those from Huntington Beach who Fought, Died and the Prisoners of War and Missing in Action" was a poem.

The Appeal of the Gold Star Mother

By: Alexander M. Sullivan  -  May 1928

To him the call in life's morning,

He whispered a fervent adieu,

He followed the flag of his country,

Far away as she knew he would do.

Somewhere by a hill or valley,

Stands a cross o'er the grave that he won,

In that place where the ivy is clinging,

Let the mother draw close to her son.

Let her gaze on the white cross above him,

Marking his flower-decked bed,

Let her kneel where he fell in his glory,

And pray where he laddie lies dead.

Let her weep where the sod rise o'er him,

Like a canopy fit for the true,

Let her pour out the love a mother,

And receive consolation anew.

Not long may she linger beside him,

But happy in heart she will be,

With green sod, the cross and the ivy

Entwined in sweet memory.

Back home in the land that he died for,

She will think of her pride and her joy,

And in fancy she'll see a red poppy,

Abloom on the grave of her boy.

Credits: Top photo by Craig MacDonald