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Fallen heroes remembered in Boyle Heights, Canoga Park on Memorial Day

May 27, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
In Boyle Heights, Memorial Day was commemorated with a 24-hour vigil at the All Wars Memorial at Cinco Puntos to honor the men and women who fought and died for the United States.

At least one person was chosen to stand guard for 30 minutes at a time since the event began Sunday at 10 a.m. War veterans alternated shifts to pay tribute to those who have passed.

Los Angeles mayor elect Eric Garcetti spoke at the end of the vigil held at the intersection of Lorena Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue.

U.S. Army Reserves Maj. Gen Megan Tatu delivered the keynote speech.

Jim Mendoza, a Vietnam War veteran, was only one of many former servicemen who chose to pay homage on Memorial Day. Mendoza grew up in Boyle Heights and says the vigil means a lot to him.

"It's very special especially this year when I lost my father-in-law who was a World War II Navy veteran, having served on the USS Lexington that sunk during the battle of the Coral Sea," Mendoza said. "This was a fitting way for me to remember him as well as my friends who passed away during the war."

In Canoga Park, crowds gathered for the community's annual holiday parade along Sherman Way to enjoy the horse units and bands. However, the biggest cheers went to those in uniform.

"Memorial Day brings to mind the memory of those who were with me during this great war," said WWII veteran Constantine Savalos. "How could you forget those comrades who were at your side and are no longer here? That's what Memorial Day means to me."


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