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 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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