June 3, 2016

Torrance Celebrates Armed Forces Days

by Kenneth Drylie
Photo Credit: Kenneth Drylie General Robert “Abe” Abrams, commanding general US Army Forces Command (inset) administers the oath of enlistment to 416 new enlistees into the US Armed Forces during the Torrance Armed Forces Day Parade.

Torrance, CA — The City of Torrance paid tribute to the five branches of the military during the 57th Annual Torrance Armed Forces Days Celebration, May 20-22. This year the honored service was the U.S. Army.

The 2016 parade Grand Marshal was General Robert “Abe” Abrams, commanding general U.S. Army Forces Command.

Abrams’ command is the largest United States Army command and provides expeditionary, regionally engaged, campaign-capable land forces to combatant commanders. FORSCOM units boast more than 750,000 Active Army, U.S. Army Reserve, and Army National Guard soldiers stationed worldwide.

Actor, Director and Producer, Joe Mantegna served as the Honorary Grand Marshal. Mantegna has over 200 appearances in films and television. He is best known for his role as Joey Zasa in the Godfather Part III.

New this year was the Louis “Louie” Zamperini 5k Memorial Run, which started the Saturday activities.

The run was held in honor of Zamperini, an Olympic Athlete known as the Torrance Tornado, who competed in the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin. Zamperini would later be commissioned in the U.S. Army Air Forces and serve as a bombardier on a B-24 Liberator. He was captured by the Japanese after being adrift for 47 days in World War II. His plane suffered dual engine failure and went down over the ocean. The story of his life is the subject of a book and 2014 Movie “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.”

The highlight of the celebration is the Armed Forces Day Parade which is the longest continuously running Armed Forces Day Parade in the United States and the largest military parade West of the Mississippi.

This year’s parade featured a performance from the U.S. Army Drill Team, part of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division the “Old Guard.”

The City of Torrance is designated by the U.S. Department of Defense to host an Armed Forces Day celebration with the Torrance Armed Forces Day Parade as a highlight.

The celebration began on May 20 with the opening of displays from various branches of Military Services at the Del Amo Fashion Plaza.

The 2017 celebration will take place May 19-21. The honored service will be the U.S. Air Force.

Commanding General of US Army Forces Command, General Robert “Abe” Abrams, runs in the Inaugural Louis Zamperini Memorial Run during Torrance Armed Forces Days.

Runners start the inaugural Louis Zamperini Memorial Run during the 2016 Torrance Armed Forces Days Celebration.

Col Kevin Jacobi, commander 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, runs with Soldiers from the National Training Center and Fort Irwin during the Inaugural Louis Zamperini Memorial 5k Run

Vehicles from the 916th Support Brigade and 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment at Torrance Armed Forces Days

Officers from the Torrance Police Department check out an AH-64 helicopter from the 916th Support Bde, Fort Irwin, Ca, in the display area at the 57th Torrance Armed Forces Days Celebration

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