Veterans Day

VETERANS VIGIL — Candles and photographs of local servicemen who lost their lives in th Vietnam War are placed at the base of the memorial wall during last year’s five-day display at the Palmdale Amphitheater at Marie Kerr Park. Many Veterans Day events are planned around the Valley this weekend.

Events honoring and celebrating those who have served in the nation’s armed forces are on tap across the Antelope Valley this weekend for Veterans Day.

Originally known as Arm­istice Day to mark the end of hostilities of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, on Nov. 11, 1918, the holiday has since be­come one dedicated to all who have served.

Because the holiday falls on a Sunday this year, many of the observations (and the federal holiday) will be on Monday, Nov. 12 instead.

Antelope Valley Mobile Vietnam Memorial Wall

First up in the list of observations for the An­tel­ope Valley is the ceremony at the continuing display of the Antelope Valley Mo­bile Vietnam Memorial Wall at the Palmdale Am­phi­theater.

The Veterans Day ceremony will take place at 11 a.m.  Sunday at the amphitheater at Marie Kerr Park, 2723 West Ran­cho Vista Blvd. (Ave. P).

Commemorative Viet­nam Veteran lapel pins will be distributed to all Vietnam Veterans in at­ten­dance.

Saturday will also fea­ture a Candlelight Mem­or­ial Walk beginning at 9 p.m., followed by the play­ing of taps. Taps will be played nightly at 9 p.m. through­out the display period.

The display of the half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, which opened Thursday evening, continues around the clock until 8 a.m. Nov. 13. Trained volunteers staff the event to aid visitors in looking up names in the computer database, assist in locating names on the wall and provide information about the wall design and layout.

Lancaster Cemetery

Lancaster Cemetery will conduct a Veterans Day ceremony at 9 a.m. Monday, at the Veterans Court of Honor in the cemetery, 111 East Lan­cas­ter Blvd.

The program will honor veterans from all wars and conflicts, organizers said.

Assisting in the program will be the Joe Walker Civil Air Patrol presenting the colors, P.J. Walker singing the National Anthem, Pas­tor Ken Gardner of Christ Our Savior United Meth­odist Church will give the in­vocation and bagpiper Chris Parke will play taps and a patriotic medley. Hal­ley Olsen Murphy Fu­ner­als and Cremations will provide refreshments.

The guest speaker will be retired Air Force Lt. Col. Toni Flanagan, an intelligence officer and one of the very few women to fly in a two-seat F-105. After graduating from the Air Force Intelligence School in 1968, she was stationed at bases in Thailand where she guided bombing mis­sions for F-4 and F-105 fighters. She was also a brief­ing/debriefing officer for an F-105 “Wild Weasel” squadron, used to attack anti-aircraft and surface-to-air missile sites.

After leaving active duty in 1978, Flanagan remained in the Air Force Reserves and served as intelligence officer for an AC-130 special operations squadron, and C-130 and C-141 squadrons. She re­tired from the Air Force in 1990.

As a civilian, Flanagan taught junior high science at St. Mary’s School in Palm­dale and later biology at Highland High School. She has also been involved in local 4-H, youth and An­tel­ope Valley Fair livestock activities.

Mojave Air and Space Port

Also on Monday will be the annual Veterans Day observance at Legacy Park at the Mojave Air and Space Port, beginning at 11 a.m.

The program will mark the 100th anniversary of the armistice which ended World War I on Nov. 11, 1918.

The Rosamond High School Air Force JROTC Color Guard will present the colors.

The guest speaker will be Navy Lt. Jason Miller, a F/A-18 weapons system officer with the VX-31 air test and evaluation squad­ron based at Naval Air Weap­ons Station China Lake.

Miller is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School, and flew combat missions in support of Oper­ation Enduring Free­dom. In his current role, he is a project officer for the latest mission computer software devel­opment for the F-18 Super Hornet.

In addition to program, the Veterans Day event will feature historic aircraft on display on the air­port flightline from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., weather permitting.

Sponsored by the Mo­jave Transportation Mu­se­um Foun­dation, the Mojave Cham­ber of Com­merce and the Mojave Air and Space Port, the gath­ering will also salute the 243rd birth­day of the U.S. Marine Corps, which is Nov. 10, with birthday cake and other refreshments.

For details, call (661) 824-2481 or (661) 342-0604.

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