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‘The ultimate sacrifice’

Marshall Allen

GLENDALE -- Sadness and pride seemed to coexist as about 250 people

celebrated Memorial Day with a service at the Glendale Veteran’s Memorial

at City Hall on Monday.


The sadness was for the lives lost in the wars and conflicts involving

U.S. soldiers. More than a million U.S. soldiers have died in the

country’s wars and conflicts, keynote speaker Brig. Gen. John S. Gong of

the Army National Guard said.


“We are commemorating the loss of our loved ones and those who’ve paid

the ultimate sacrifice,” Mayor Rafi Manoukian said.

There was great sadness during the POW/MIA presentation, where

Glendale Police Sgt. Mel Barnes, a Vietnam veteran, described the

symbolism in a display set up to remember prisoners of war and those

missing in action.

A small table symbolized the frailty of the POW and its white cloth,

the purity of the POW’s intentions, Barnes said. The slice of lemon on


the table represented their bitter fate, and the salt the countless

fallen tears of their loved ones, he said.

There was also sadness because there seemed to be few adults younger

than 40 in the crowd, as was noted by 73-year-old Korean War veteran Don


“To the younger generations, it [Memorial Day] means a three-day

weekend,” Sinclair said. “It’s ‘time to go to the beach!’ and they don’t

remember those who went before.”


But even in the midst of sadness, pride for the freedom worth more

than a million lives, and the soldiers willing to sacrifice, was the


“We honor these brave warriors by not forgetting them, and by not

taking our freedom for granted,” Gong said.

It’s this freedom that allows citizens to come to City Hall and speak

their minds, even if what they say is disagreeable, resident Dave Moreno

said. Moreno was collecting signatures in support of naming a U.S. Navy

vessel after the city of Glendale.

“A lot of people say things we don’t want to hear, but thank God we

can do that,” he said.

There was also pride in groups like the Crescenta Valley High School

ROTC, who participated in the Laying of Roses ceremony.