LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Memorial Day events, both virtual and in-person, will be held across the Southland Monday to remember those service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.
A Vietnam war veteran salutes as he places American flags at graves ahead of Memorial Day in the Los Angeles National Cemetery on May 29, 2021. (Getty Images)
A reading of names of service members who have died in combat since 9/11 will begin at 5:30 a.m. at Rosie the Riveter Park in Long Beach. Active-duty military, law enforcement, first responders and veterans will read the names.
The public is invited, with organizers suggesting bringing a lawn chair and holding a picnic.
Santa Clarita’s Memorial Day Tribute will be held at Eternal Valley Memorial Park. The tribute will begin at 10 a.m. with a flyover by the Condor Squadron of World War II North American Aviation AT-6 airplanes.
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, is scheduled to speak. Following the ceremony the audience will be invited to the Veterans Memorial Wall for the reading of the more than 900 names inscribed on it.
The Condor Squadron will also conduct a flyover before Monday’s Los Angeles Dodgers-St. Louis Cardinals game at Dodger Stadium.
The keynote address will be delivered by U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jennifer Burghdorf and her husband, U.S. Air Force Maj. Andy Burghdorf.
Archbishop Jose H. Gomez will celebrate a special Memorial Day Mass at 10 a.m. at Holy Cross Cemetery and Mortuary in Culver City honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
Before Mass begins, a military honor guard/color guard will play “God Bless America.” Following Mass, a bugler will play taps.
The Battleship Iowa, which is docked at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, will stream a virtual ceremony, “Remembering All Our Heroes,” at 10 a.m. on its YouTube page, http://www.youtube.com/user/ussiowamuseum.
The ceremony will be followed by the “Celebration of the American Spirit” musical performance by South Bay classic rock band The Jokers.
What organizers are calling a small, Memorial Day service will be held at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Griffin Memorial Park Mortuary and Crematory in Westlake Village at 10:45 a.m.
This will be the 31st consecutive year the memorial park has held a Memorial Day observance.
Carson’s virtual Memorial Day tribute will begin at 6 p.m. and be streamed on the city’s website, carson.gov/MDT. The keynote address will be delivered by Cliff Smith, author of “Mindfulness Without the Bells and Beads.”
What became Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868, as Decoration Day, a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Civil War dead with flowers.
It was established 25 days earlier by Maj. Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of veterans who fought for the Union in the Civil War. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the nation.
By the end of the 19th century, Decoration Day ceremonies were being held on May 30 throughout the nation. After World War I, the holiday was changed to honor Americans who died fighting in all wars.
The term Memorial Day was first used in 1882, became more common after World War II and declared the official name by federal law in 1967.
Memorial Day had been observed on May 30, until being moved to the last Monday in May in 1971 under terms of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which became law in 1968.