June 2, 2017

Community comes together to honor Memorial Day

Diane Betzler
staff writer

Folks from all over the Antelope Valley attended Memorial Day services May 29 at the Desert Lawn Memorial Park in Palmdale.

PALMDALE, Calif.—The Antelope Valley Service Organization Association and the City of Palmdale Recreation & Culture joined this Memorial Day in hosting a tribute to America’s military men and women who have served and are serving to keep America free.

This year’s message was delivered loud and clear, “Freedom isn’t free!” and hundreds of local residents attended the Memorial Day celebration that was held at the Desert Lawn Memorial Park in Palmdale to pay homage to all who served.

Maj. Conrad Hernandez, commander of the Highland High School Air Force JROTC served the event as master of ceremonies and introduced each speaker that was there to deliver his or her personal message.

Young Margie Hernandez wowed the on-lookers with her performance of the National Anthem and the traditional Table of Honor Ceremony was presented by the Highland High School Air Force JROTC.

Young Margie Hernandez wows spectators as she sings the National Anthem.

Palmdale’s Mayor James Ledford Jr. introduced city and state elected officials who attended the event and acknowledged the community’s young people who took part in the day’s activities. Ledford said the connection to the community’s youth is very important. He said he was pleased with the community turnout and with the number of city officials that attended.

“Our obligation is never forgetting all the sacrifices performed by many and always showing our appreciation to our men and women in uniform,” he said.

Congressman Steve Knight, R-Calif., said everyone thinks of veterans all the time and said that Memorial Day is a special time, “It’s a day that we revere what people have done to make America what it is today,” he said.

Palmdale Mayor James Ledford and Congressman Steve Knight enjoy a friendly chat while waiting for Memorial Day services to begin Monday at the Desert Lawn Memorial Park in Palmdale.

Chaplain of American Legion Post 348, Pastor Carl Hernandez told those attending that the duty of America’s military is to protect the country’s freedom. Freedom, he said, is one of God’s most precious gifts. To those who made the ultimate sacrifice Hernandez said, “RIP, your duty is done.

“Many nations know who we are when they see the colors of our flag, many nations love us and some hate us, but they all know our colors don’t run,” he said.

Hernandez closed the ceremony reminding folks that all gave some, but some gave all.

“It doesn’t matter what uniform they wear, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force or U.S. Coast Guard, they all start with U.S. and that’s what they were here to serve.”

Josh Hopper, a member of the Palmdale VFW Post 3552  and his Vietnam service dog, Sylvia, pays their respects to American veterans at Monday’s Memorial Day Service in Palmdale.


Local resident Kathleen Dewhurst paid tribute to American war fighters by reciting a patriotic Douglas Mcquire poem titled Like Father Like Son


Palmdale Princesses attend the May 29 Memorial Day services at the Desert Lawn Memorial Park in Palmdale proving you’re never too young to honor your country.

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