Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, June 2, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:1





By Joan Schmidt

 Memorial Day is a very special day to remember 
Veterans and loved ones. It began as “Decoration Day” 
in the mid 1860’s, and TWENTY-FOUR cities say it 
was first held in their city! In 1966, President Johnson 
declared Waterloo NY to be the “first city” to observe 
Declaration Day, May 1866. However, Boalsburg 
PA claims they had a celebration in 1884; women 
placed flowers on soldiers’ graves, April 25, 1866 in 
Columbus MS; and General John Polk spoke at a city-
wide celebration April 29, 1866-just to name a few! In 
1967, President Johnson proclaimed “Memorial Day”, 
a Federal Holiday, observed the last Monday of May. 

 In the San Gabriel Valley, we have many wonderful 
events honoring our Veterans. The Saturday prior to 
Veterans Day is the wonderful annual Veterans Fair 
at Arcadia County Park, begun by past Supervisor 
Antonovich and continued by Supervisor Barger. 
Senior Field Deputy Debby Mendelsohn did an 
outstanding job planning this spectacular event. 

 Supervisor Barger acknowledged Channel 4 
Meteorologist Fritz Coleman, Master of Ceremonies 
for many years. Coleman, a Viet Nam Vet, is well-
known in SO CAL for his volunteerism and support 
of Veterans and many worthwhile causes. Speakers 
included Congresswomen Judy Chu and Grace 
Napolitano who spoke of brave Veterans and their 
sacrifices. Mayor Peter Amundson mentioned his 
father Milt, a World War II Vet; grandfather Peter, a 
World War I Vet; and BOTH great-grandfathers who 
served in the Civil War. 

It was a pleasure to see Brigadier General Ruth Wong, 
and many city officials including Monrovia’s Becky 
Shevlin, and Glendora’s Karen Davis. Town Council 
members, Dave Hall, Terrence Williams, Linda Sells 
and I attended. Arcadia’s City Clerk Gene Glasco, a 
Viet Nam Navy Veteran, introduced five Viet Nam 
Veterans, Honorable Judge Eileen Moore, (US ARMY, 
Combat Nurse); Mrs. Eileen Dominquez (US Air 
Force, CA National Guard); Mr. Wesley Cloys (US 
ARMY, 84th Engineer Battalion); Clint Deacon (US 
ARMY, Bronze Star & Purple Heart); and actor Tucker 
Smallwood (US ARMY, Airborne Infantry), read their 
bios, and they were awarded a special pin. 

 Supervisor Barger feels Viet Nam Veterans never 
received proper recognition. She now reads their 
names at the Board Meeting adjournment. She also 
has targeted funding for homeless Veterans’ housing, 
weekly portable showers and county agencies’ reps 
available for assistance.

 There was wonderful patriotic music, a color guard, 
sky divers, and food vendors. The booths had so much 
information, and giveaways. My former students’ dad, 
Mr. Solis, had his vehicle with Veterans’ names and 
photos. Our pastor, Father Eugene Herbert was a medic 
in Viet Nam! An Eagle Scout played “Amazing Grace” 
on bagpipes, and Mendelsohn’s son Doug performed 
“Taps”. That evening was the “lighting” for the Viet 
Nam Monument at the Park. It blew everyone away-
red, white and blue lights! (Thanks to my daughter 
Karen for awesome photos and Gene Glasco, Elks 
Lodge, Arcadia Women’s Club, Boy Scouts and MANY 
OTHERS responsible for the beautiful monument, 
landscaping and now lighting! Gene’s dedication was 
the catalyst, bringing this monument to fruition.

 Monday, Live Oak Cemetery provided the venue 
for their annual Veterans’ Memorial/Recognition. 
Highlights include the color guard, playing each service 
branch’s theme song, and asking those members to rise 
for recognition, and a flyover. Assemblyman Chris 
Holden spoke as did Scott Sinclair and Janine Coyne 
explained the “13 folds” of the flag. Again, many local 
officials attended, and there was the awesome flyover. 
May we never forget our Veterans and their sacrifices 
so we can enjoy our many freedoms.

Katie Orth626.688.0418 
Let Us Make Our Town, Your Town.
Kersting Court30 N. Baldwin AvenueSierra Madre 91024THE WEBB-MARTIN GROUP
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