Thousands gathered across Southern California to celebrate Veterans Day on Friday.
The 19th Annual Veterans Day Parade kicked off in the San Fernando Valley, with attendees enjoying an opportunity to show support and appreciation for all the dedicated women and men of service.
Attendees lined the streets of Laurel Canyon Boulevard, many thinking of their loved ones.
“Vietnam veterans in particular were not honored when they came home,” Rose Curiel, whose husband is a veteran, told KTLA’s Rachel Menitoff. “So it’s beautiful that we’re doing this.”
The Los Angeles Dodgers invited 500 active duty military members and their families for a special Veterans Day event on Friday.
Marine Corps veteran Chris Gonzalez said:
Gonzalez enjoyed batting practice with his son on the Dodgers field.
Service members also enjoyed a question-and-answer session with longtime Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes and first baseman Max Muncy.
In El Segundo, rock ‘n’ roll legend Gene Simmons greeted veterans dining at Rock & Brews while offering free meals.
“It’s about honoring the people who actually served,” Simmons said. “They are the true heroes. They may not see the capes, but they all wear them. These are the true vets who make America possible.”
In addition to these celebrations, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is also a Navy veteran, said the city is working to better support those returning home from service.
“Here in Los Angeles, we offer a higher level of service than anywhere else in the United States,” says Garcetti. “I don’t think people think of Los Angeles as a military city, but it is. It could be your neighbor, it could be your co-worker. They’re all around us.”
Eric Adam, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, said he felt accepted by the community.
“It’s great to see the community come together and be able to do that,” says Adame. “It’s cool to see the past, present and future.
Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rick Caruso also attended the parade and told KTLA that he was thinking about his father, who served as a Navy aviator.
The festivities continued into the night at Ritchie Valens Park in Pacoima, where people can enjoy the weekend carnival.
https://ktla.com/news/veterans-day-celebrations-kick-off-across-southern-california/ Veterans Day Celebrations Begin Across Southern California