About 300 veterans, family members and local, state and national officials gathered for a Veterans Day ceremony Thursday at McCambridge Park War Memorial and its ever-burning flame in Burbank.
Michael Depalo, chairman of Burbank’s Veterans Commemorative Committee and a veteran of the Vietnam War, said he was proud of the turnout and the efforts the city has made to honor those who have served in the military.
“Burbank has always taken a lot of pride in those currently serving and its veterans,” said Depalo, who also organizes the city’s Memorial Day event. “This is the least we can do for them.”
Burbank, which honors residents serving active duty with streetlight banners near City Hall, presented two family representatives and two Marines their personal banners that were flown in the city.
Cpl. Griffith Turner, 22, received his street banner during his first Veterans Day ceremony since being out of active military service.
“It was actually really nice,” Turner said after the presentations and exchanging hugs with family members and fans. “It’s great because I grew up right on Kenwood.”
Turner, who attended Jordan Middle and Roosevelt Elementary schools in Burbank, just returned in June from two combat missions in Iraq.
Veterans from all four branches of the military — Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard — and every war since World War II attended the hour-long ceremony to pay tribute to those who have served their country.
After initial introductions from Depalo, a flyover by the Condor Squadron, sponsored by Councilman Gary Bric, kicked off the ceremony.
Following budget cuts that eliminated the funds for flyovers during the city’s Memorial and Veterans Day ceremonies, Bric said he thought it was only appropriate to continue the tradition.
The flyover was in memory of his brother, Pfc. William H. Bric III, a Green Beret with the U.S. Army who was killed in Vietnam on Aug. 23, 1968, and other veterans.
Assemblyman Mike Gatto and Reps. Brad Sherman and Adam Schiff attended the ceremony Thursday afternoon and helped honor Dr. Jerry A. Jones, who served as a chaplain with the military and who has since been part of other Burbank events honoring the armed forces.
“We need to thank our veterans for the blessings of peace they give us,” Sherman said.