Orange County Supervisor Cynthia Coad was the guest speaker at the
July 4 ceremonies hosted by the Laguna Beach post of the American Legion.
“You may wonder why a supervisor would come to our little town on the
Fourth of July,” said Post 222 Commander David Connell.
“At a Memorial Day ceremony, she spoke so movingly, we asked for a
copy of her speech and she volunteered to come and give the speech.”
She gets full marks for courage.
Laguna Beach is a hotbed of opposition to the construction of an
airport at the former U.S. Marine Corps Air Base at El Toro, which Coad
supported. She lost her seat on the board in the March election to
anti-airport candidate Chris Norby. Coad subsequently committed to
supporting the March majority who voted in favor of a great park instead
of an airport at the base, but recently rescinded that commitment.
Supervisor-elect Norby, whose brother Eric lives in Laguna Beach,
takes office in December.
“There was no mention of an airport in the speech,” said Post 222
Adjutant James Law.
A good thing, too, with Councilwoman Cheryl Kinsman seated in the
audience. Kinsman is the city’s representative to the El Toro Reuse
Planning Authority, a coalition of South County cities organized to
thwart an airport. Coad stuck to the text of her Memorial Day speech when
she spoke in Laguna Beach.
“I am here to truly honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice,”
Their sacrifice, she said, allows us the freedom to make our dreams
come true. Coad’s speech included some family history. Her husband’s twin
brother was killed in World War II. His cousin came home a different
person in mind and body than the 19-year-old who had marched off to serve
his country. She concluded her speech by reciting the poem “In Flanders
Field,” bringing tears to the eyes of Madeleine Visca, and quotes from
Presidents Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy and George W. Bush.
Coad’s speech was preceded by a ceremony called the Ringing of the
Bells, conducted by Walter L. Davis, dressed as a Revolutionary War
“The ceremony starts in Philadelphia at 2 p.m. where they tap the
Liberty Bell,” said Davis, a past President of the Orange County chapter
of the Sons of the American Revolution.”
Each peal symbolizes one of the 13 original colonies whose
representative signed the Declaration of Independence.