On May 29, 2017 the Forest Lawn Memorial Park held its annual Memorial Day observance. This event remembers the countless number of lives lost serving our country and expresses our gratitude to them. Veterans of wars like the Korean War, Vietnam War, and Iraq War were distinguished for their heroic sacrifices.
The observance was an event in which the whole community came together. The Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, or AFJROTC for short, at Crescenta Valley High School started off the remembrance with the presentation and posting of the colors. During the presentation of the colors, “The Star-Spangled Banner” was sung by two veterans-turned-musicians. Their heartfelt performance ignited a surge of patriotism from the crowd that set the atmosphere for the duration of the remembrance. Following their performance, was a drum composition played by a local elementary school. The discipline and attention to detail they showed, despite their young age, showcased their genuine gratitude towards the heroes that they were recognizing on this special day.
Furthermore, local police officers executed a captivating and flawless rifle salute in which they shot their rifles three times in a row. Last but not least, the AFJROTC had a military medley in which they presented every branch’s flag in correspondence to their individual and unique hymns played by the orchestra. This provided a time for every branch of the military to get individually distinguished and allowed veterans to feel pride in not only their nation but also their respective branch.
Memorial Day is a day in which average citizens can recognize those who allow them to live an average lifestyle. Our everyday lives and actions are a privilege that would be unattainable without the help of courageous men and women who sacrifice their lives and freedom so that we may retain ours. In fact, our appreciation should not be expressed annually on Memorial Day but constantly. We can do so by participating in Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that sends care packages to veterans, and fulfilling our role in our community.