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D-Day Events Begin

A Sunday benefit concert spotlighting the work of the USO kicked off a round of ceremonies commemorating the 50th anniversary of D-Day, the invasion of Normandy during World War II. More events were scheduled for today, Memorial Day, including the closure of Wilshire Boulevard for an hour while a short segment of the street is renamed.

The concert, which celebrated the USO tours during the World War II era, was held at the Wadsworth Theater on the grounds of the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Medical Center.

The medical center is also the locale for a 12:30 p.m. ceremony today, during which a portion of Wilshire between Veteran and Federal avenues will get the honorary moniker “Veterans Parkway.”

Guest speaker at the event will be Gen. Paul X. Kelley, former commandant of the United States Marine Corps. Gov. Pete Wilson is expected to attend.

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There will also be a display of World War II equipment and a 10-plane flyover of World War II-era aircraft. The movie “The Longest Day” will be shown for free in the afternoon.

All the programs are sponsored by the Veterans Park Preserve.

Sue Young, a spokeswoman for the group, said the ceremonies are intended as a first step in beautifying the 445-acre VA site, which straddles the San Diego Freeway. Other proposals for the hospital grounds include a botanical garden and a national cemetery, she said.


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