Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Remembering Those Who Paid With Their Lives to Protect our Freedoms

On Sunday, I joined members of the East Los Angeles Veterans Association to kick off a 24-hour vigil at the Mexican American All Wars Memorial in Cinco Puntos (Five Points) in Boyle Heights. On Memorial Day, that vigil turned into a celebration and a day of remembrance for the men and woman who fought and died for our country, as well as those who served and continue to serve in our armed forces. Their sacrifices and the sacrifices of their families mean a great deal to our community. We paid tribute to the diversity of our Eastside community, which over the years has included Latinos, Japanese, Jews, African Americans and many others. All who served our country with honor, including many who paid the ultimate price. I was honored to stand guard Sunday and privileged to have the opportunity to address the many people in attendance Monday. A big thank you to everyone involved, especially the young men and young women in the JROTC program from Garfield, Roosevelt and Lincoln High schools who proudly presented the Colors. And a big congratulations goes out to Daniel Hernandez, Executive Director of the Hollenbeck Youth Center who shared with us his courageous and amazing story as a young Marine in Vietnam. Daniel only recently found out he had been recognized by the United States for his valor and will soon be receiving the Silver Star for his actions. Congratulations Dan! And a big thank you to all our vets and their families.