Originally a day to honor the heroism of World War I veterans and the “armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany [that] went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month,” President Wilson in 1919 proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day, the day we now observe as Veterans Day. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website, in 1954, the 83rd Congress, “at the urging of veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938,” removing the word “Armistice” and inserting “Veterans” in its place, thus acknowledging those who fought during World War II, the greatest mobilization of U.S. troops in American history, and during the aggression in Korea. “With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.” That tradition continues today, with many local veterans groups, cities, and others holding public ceremonies to honor veterans from all sectors of the U.S. Armed Forces. The following is a list of some of the local observances taking place:
Today, Thursday Nov. 8
Noon-1pm—East Los Angeles College 1st Veterans Day Celebration honoring all armed service veterans but especially all student veterans who have made the choice to return back to school to enrich their lives through higher education. Location: Foyer of the Rosco C. Ingalls Auditorium –ELAC. To register or for more information, email for this event, firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, Nov. 9
7-9pm—Veterans’ Concert at Mark Keppel High School. The tribute to veterans concert at the school’s auditorium is open to the public, and free to veterans. Keppel High is located at 501 East Hellman Avenue, Alhambra, CA 91801. For more information call (626) 572-2242
Saturday, Nov. 10
10-11am—El Sereno Veterans’ Day Ceremony presented by the Office of Councilman Jose Huizar in coordination with El Sereno Veterans Committee. The Tribute to American War Veterans will take place at the Dr. Donald Newman Flag Pole, located at the intersection of Huntington Drive and Eastern Avenue. For more information call the councilman’s El Sereno Field Office: (323) 226-1646.
1-4pm—City of Los Angeles First Annual Veterans Appreciation Festival in front of the new USS IOWA battleship museum at the Port of Los Angeles. The event is free to the public, tours of the USS IOWA are free to Veterans and their families. The festival includes free food, resource booths for veterans, presentation of the colors, live music, as well as a children’s play zone and patriotic Harley riders. Official program starts at 1:45 pm. The USS IOWA is located at 250 S. Harbor Blvd. in San Pedro. On-site parking. For more information, visit http://www.portoflosangeles.org
1-7pm—Free Veterans Day BBQ and Concert at West LA VA Medical Center Campus. Event will include a BBQ and free concert by America for Veterans, military members and families. BBQ: 1-4pm at the Rose Garden, behind building 220 at the WLA Medical Center, and is free for all Veterans, military members and family members on a first come first served basis. The concert is from 5 to 7 pm, doors open at 4pm at the Wadsworth Theatre on the West Los Angeles VA (WLA) campus: 11301 Wilshire Blvd., LA 90073. For more information visit www.losangeles.va.gov or call (310) 478-3711, ext 42441.
Sunday, Nov. 11
10am—Veterans Day Ceremony at Cinco Puntos in Boyle Hights. Public is invited to join state, county and local officials, veterans, and others as they pay homage to local servicemen and women. Formal ceremony concludes at 11am; a reception follows at the Eugene Obregon American Legion Post 804. The Mexican American All Wars Memorial at Cinco Puntos is located at the intersection of Lorena, Indiana and Cesar Chavez in Boyle Heights. For more information, call Tony Zapata (323) 261-8533 or the American Legion Post 804 at (323) 268-2982.
11am—Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills presents “Honoring a Life, Honoring A Veteran-53rd Annual Veterans Day Ceremony. Special presentations by the American Military Museum & the Ft. MacArthur Military Museum; military equipment displays; patriotic music and the Golden Stars Skydiving Team. No charge for admission or parking. Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills is located at 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, LA 90068. For more information, call 800-204-3131 or visit ForestLawn.com.
11am—Montebello’s Veterans Day Ceremony at Montebello City Park. Public invited to attend ceremony near the Memorial Monument at the park located on Whittier Boulevard and Taylor Avenue. U.S. Marine Core Sgt. John Eric Mejia will be the keynote speaker. Ceremony will include placing of wreath, posting of colors and riffle volley by the American Legion Post 272, along with Schurr High School’s marching band playing patriotic music. Light refreshments will be served.
10am—City of Commerce Veterans Day Ceremony will include a processional march for all branches of the US Armed forces. Commerce resident and US Army and Iraq War Veteran Julia Thompson, will be the key note speaker. Entertainment and light refreshments; Bus shuttle to Veterans from Bandini, Bristow and Rosewood Parks. In the event of rain, the event will be moved to the basketball gym at Veterans Memorial Park, located at 6364 Zindell Ave., Commerce, 90040. For more information, call Rachel Baltierra at (323) 887-4404.
11am—Monterey Park Veterans Day Ceremony. City officials and American Legion Post 397 will present this ceremony in front of the Monterey Park City Hall. Veteran William Sanchez, a World War II prisoner of war, will be one of the speakers. Post 397, located across the street from City Hall, will host a free lunch and open house following the ceremony. Monterey Park City Hall is located at 320 W. Newmark Ave, Monterey Park, 91754. For more information, call (626) 571-9211.
11am-3pm—7th Annual Northeast Los Angeles Veterans Day Ceremony & Parade. The day’s events begin with a Solemn Ceremony at Eagle Rock City Hall to honor military veterans, and will include a gun salute and the placing of a wreath at the Veterans of all Wars memorial. The parade begins at 1pm at the LAFD Fire Station 55, located on Avenue 45 in Highland Park and will end at Veteran’s Square, located at the southeast corner of the intersection of York and Figueroa. Entertainment at Veteran’s Square begins at 2:30pm. For more information, visit nelavetsparade.org or call Ruby de Vera (323) 258-0776 or Heinrich Keifer (323) 385-4935.
2pm—Bell Gardens Hometown Heroes Closing Ceremony. Local Veterans featured on banners throughout the city as part of the four-year program, will be presented with their banners during a ceremony at Ross Hall, located at Bell Gardens Veterans Park, 6662 Loveland Street, Bell Gardens. The public is invited to attend. For more information, call Nick Razo at 562-806-7702.
11am-4pm—City of Bell Celebrates 85th birthday with Veterans Day commemoration and family-friendly activities at Veterans’ Memorial Park: 6500 Wilcox Ave, in Bell. Celebration begins with a salute to veterans at 11am, with birthday celebration activities, including live entertainment, arts & crafts for kids, a free Zumba Class, In-N-Out Burgers for $1 to the first 500 residents and more immediately following. Bring out blankets and lawn chairs as entertainment will take place in the baseball diamond at Veterans’ Park