The 53rd Annual Torrance Armed Forces Day celebration drew thousands of people from May 18-20. This year was especially significant for the Air Force; it was designated as the honored service. The Air Force participation stretched from military exhibits, Fighting Falcon F-16 flyovers, and performances by the Air Force Band of the Golden West and Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team to Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, as the parade’s Grand Marshal. Space and Missile Systems Center Vice Commander, Brig. Gen. Roger Teague, led 200 airmen from Los Angeles, Edwards and Vandenberg Air Force bases marching in formation in the parade.
“This is a fantastic opportunity and patriotic moment,” said Brig. Gen. Teague. “It is wonderful to be out in the community and have a unique opportunity to get to know our neighbors. We are so grateful for the support the City of Torrance gives to our military members.” All five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and active guard and reserve military units were represented during the three-day celebration. The events included military static displays outside the Del Amo Mall, performances by the Air Force Band of the Golden West and Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team, an all-services reveille ceremony and a parade with over 8,000 participants in the parade line. “The Torrance Armed Forces Day Celebration is a wonderful thing we do to honor our military service members,” said Frank Nash, a World War II veteran. “I am a Torrance resident and I make sure to come every year – it makes me feel very proud to support our armed forces.” The Torrance Armed Forces Day Celebration is the longest running Department of Defense-sanctioned parade in the country and has run consecutively for 53 years. “I hope that everyone who attended the weekend’s events gets the clear understanding that we’re all on the same team,” said Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, SMC commander. “Civilians, military, we’re all Americans and want the best for our country. We’re proud to serve this nation, protecting the freedoms that we all cherish. We sincerely appreciate the support of the American people.”