On Saturday, the city of La Verne commemorated Veterans Day at the Veterans Hall on Bonita Avenue, with a memorial to honor veterans and their families.
The memorial was presented by the city and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12034 Band of Brothers.
“The important thing was to celebrate our veterans past, present and future,” Mayor Tim Hepburn said during the event.
Hepburn said it is very important for the community to appreciate and reach out to veterans as they often suffer from PTSD and have difficulties getting help when they need it.
He encouraged others to help, and thanked them for their sacrifice for the country.
The ceremony started with an opening prayer by La Verne chaplain pastor Roy Halberg. The crowd prayed for peace and for the protection and safety of those who are serving now.
The crowd joined Boy Scout Troop 411 for the Pledge of Allegiance, which was followed by the National Anthem as the flag was raised.
“The ceremony was … uplifting this year,” Eduardo Escutia Jr., Army veteran said. “Last year it was more somber, and I really enjoyed it very much because it showed that Veterans day can be celebratory.”
Escutia served three years of active duty and six years in army reserves. In his time serving, he said that it was a bit rare for him to think about family because everything was always “go, go, go” for him and never had any downtime.
He said coming back was a difficult transition to civilian life because he was used to being told what tasks to do next.
For veterans, “there is a lot of fear of the unknown and it’s a traumatic experience,” Carolyn Miralles, choir teacher at Baldwin Park, said.
Miralles’s brother is a veteran and her ways of helping her brother while he was serving was to send him letters and pray.
“Having a conversation with a veteran is more powerful than you know,” said Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12034 Commander Phillip Ramirez.
Ramirez said that Veterans Day is a day to stop and say thank you to those veterans who served.
Hailey Martinez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.