60th Annual Memorial Day service at Cinco Puntos near the Mexican-American All Wars Memorial in Boyle Heights
More than 300 veterans and community residents gathered at Cinco Puntos near the Mexican-American All Wars Memorial in Boyle Heights to take part in the 60th Annual Memorial Day service held in the community. Organized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4696 and the American Legion Post 804, the service followed a 24-hour vigil at the monument to pay tribute to the service men and women who lost their lives in defense of our nation. During the congresswoman’s remarks, she read the names of the 25 service members who died in the line of duty in the City of Los Angeles and other communities in the 34th District since March 2003. In addition, a poster of their photographs was displayed on the stage. Following the service, the congresswoman presented the Legion with a congressional record tribute recognizing their 60th memorial day service and overall commitment to the community. Pictured in the group photo from left to right: Lt. Commander Ray Rodriguez US Navy; Navy Ensign and Councilman Eric Garcetti, 13th District; Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard; Councilman José Huizar, 14th Council District; standing in front of the Garfield High School Jr. ROTC Color Guard.
The full text of Congresswoman Roybal-Allard’s remarks are as follows:
“We are here today to honor the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty and to celebrate those veterans who courageously served the United States in times of war and peace. As we commemorate Memorial Day, the thoughts of all Americans are with the families who have lost a loved one. Sadly, more than 3,769 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since March 2003 – including 388 Californians. I would like to acknowledge service members from our communities who died in the line of duty since March 2003. At the conclusion of the names, I ask you to join me in observing a moment of silence in their honor.
[Pfc. Ramon Romero – Huntington Park (Marines); Spc. Jose L. Mora – Bell Gardens (Army); Cpl. Roberto Abad – Los Angeles (Marines); Lance Cpl. Luis A. Figueroa – Los Angeles (Marines); Cpl. Jorge A. Gonzalez – Los Angeles (Marines); Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez – Los Angeles (Marines); Lance Cpl. Victor R. Lu – Los Angeles (Marines); Pfc. Francisco A. Martinez Flores – Los Angeles (Marines); Staff Sgt. Eddie E. Menyweather – Los Angeles (Army); Pfc. Veashna Muy – Los Angeles (Marines); Staff Sgt. Abraham D. Penamedina – Los Angeles (Army); Cpl. Carlos Pineda – Los Angeles (Marines); Lance Cpl. Felipe D. Sandoval-Flores – Los Angeles (Marines); Lance Cpl. Dion M. Whitley – Los Angeles (Marines); Cpl. Carlos Arrelanopandura – Los Angeles (Marines); Staff Sgt. Juan De Dios Garcia-Arana – Los Angeles (Army); Lance Cpl. Benjamin R. Gonzalez – Los Angeles (Marines); Sgt. Edgar E. Lopez – Los Angeles (Marines); Sgt. 1st Class John W. Marshall – Los Angeles (Army); Sgt. Trinidad R. Martinezluis – Los Angeles (Army); Sgt. Milton M. Monzon Jr. – Los Angeles (Army); Chief Warrant Officer Christopher G. Nason – Los Angeles (Army); Pfc. Geoffrey Perez – Los Angeles (Marines); Spc. Omead H. Razani – Los Angeles (Army); Sgt. 1st Class Joselito O. Villanueva – Los Angeles (Army)]
While Memorial Day is a day to remember the service of veterans past, it is also fitting that we recognize and honor those currently serving in our armed forces. Your Memorial Day 24-hour vigil which started yesterday and ended this morning is an action that speaks louder than words. Your vigil spoke about patriotism, honor, duty, and country but most of all it served as a reminder to the nation that American Latinos – men and women - have gallantly made the ultimate sacrifice and today you stand in singular distinction as having been the only community in the nation to have held a 24-hour Memorial Day vigil in remembrance of their sacrifice and I am honored to have been invited to be part of this historic moment. May God bless you, our veterans, our men and women in uniform and their families everywhere. Thank you for the privilege of being with you today.”
-- ### --