McCAMBRIDGE PARK -- It was a time to honor local heroes as grateful
residents gathered across Burbank and Glendale for Memorial Day
In Burbank, children carried small American flags while veterans
were honored with poems, speeches and the city’s community orchestra
at McCambridge Park on Monday.
Pictures of Burbank veterans and their biographies were on
display, along with letters of gratitude from soldiers for the city’s
Hands Across the Battlefield, a citizens’ support group for
servicemen and servicewomen.
“I was in Vietnam, and we used to get stuff from people here in
Burbank, and I remember what that meant to me, particularly when they
were from people who I didn’t know,” group member Marc Cutter said.
“When it comes from somebody that you don’t know or you don’t expect
it from, it means a lot more.”
Cutter, who served a year as an Army lieutenant in Vietnam, said
the group delivered more than seven tons of supplies to soldiers
overseas last year.
Eric Christoffersen and his Boy Scout Troop 204 laid roses on the
park’s war memorials. Eric, 16, came to Burbank when he and his four
siblings were adopted from Russia 10 years ago.
"[The ceremony] makes me appreciate my country more and think
about people who served to make this happen,” he said.
Robert Phillips, 80, served 32 years in the Army and saw action
during World War II and in Vietnam.
“I attend [the service] every year. It’s very moving and we like
this one,” he said. “It’s our Burbank.”
Glendale residents gathered at the Veterans Memorial at City Hall
to hear U.S. Marine Command Sgt. Maj. Stuart Fuller III deliver the
Fuller said Glendale has always answered the call to battle at
home and abroad.
“I would imagine a soldier, bloody and dying on the battlefield,
dreaming of just such a city like this backed up against the
mountains, a small town, a town that cares about its citizens and its
soldiers in faraway places,” he said.
Mayor Frank Quintero, who served 13 months as a U.S. Marine in
Vietnam, recalled his childhood visits on Memorial Day to the local
American Legion post and the pictures of veterans that decorated the
“As a young kid, I always thought of them as grown men,” he said.
“Later on, after serving in Vietnam, I realize those weren’t grown
men, those were really kids ... so when I think of my friends and my
marine platoon that lost their lives, I always think of them being
forever young because they will always be 19-year-olds and 20-year-olds who never had a chance to grow up.”
Cindy Cline-Fulton shared the rescue stories of her son, Lance
Cpl. Donald Cline, who was killed during a battle in May in
Nasiriyah, Iraq. A mortar hit the vehicle he was in while he tried to
carry 18 dead and wounded to safety. The former Crescenta Valley High
School student was 21.
“I never knew my son was so brave until I heard these stories,”
she said. “He was so unselfish; he just wanted to save everyone’s
life, and I thank the city of Glendale for just remembering him and
keeping his spirit alive.”