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Burbank thanks veterans

Ryan Carter

At 23, Matthew Chagolla of North Hollywood knows war. In September,

the Marine returned from duty in Iraq, where he served for more than

seven months.

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“It makes me feel good to know that people are grateful and give

us the support we need from them,” Chagolla said Tuesday as he

studied the McCambridge Park War Memorial.

Chagolla was among hundreds who attended a Veterans Day ceremony

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at the park sponsored by the city and the Veterans Commemorative

Committee.

With Missing in Action and American flags flapping in the

background, federal, state and local dignitaries and others

recognized those who served in all branches of the military during

war and peacetime.

The mood was somber and proud. Most in attendance were keenly

aware of the American troops presently fighting in Iraq.

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“We love them and support them, and must never forget them,” Mayor

Stacey Murphy said.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) said his visits to Iraq earlier this

year and with injured troops in U.S. hospitals prompted him to

promise himself, “I’ll never complain about anything again.”

Tuesday’s ceremony included a flyover by a vintage World War

II-era squadron and the dedication of a plaque to honor the late Bob

Hope. The plaque will be placed next to Vietnam and Korean War

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memorials at the corner of Amherst Drive and San Fernando

Boulevard.

“He was really a legend to our troops,” Burbank resident and World

War II Army veteran Joe Roberts said of Hope, an honorary veteran who

traveled the world entertaining troops.

Roberts, who lost his leg during the war, recalled the U.S.

hospital ship Comfort, which brought him home. When it docked in Los

Angeles, Hope was there to greet Roberts and a ward full of injured

soldiers.

Hope’s commitment to troops through his tours with the United

Service Organizations was prompted by the entertainer’s humility,

said Ward Grant, Hope’s longtime publicist.

“He loved nobodies and made them somebodies,” Grant said.


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