Residents pay tribute to veterans

GLENDALE — Fifty Glendale service members killed in battle were honored Monday during a somber and reflective Memorial Day ceremony.

The service members, who fought in either World War I, World War II, the Korean War or Vietnam War were added this year to the city’s Memorial Walls on Isabel Street and Broadway, Master of Ceremonies Larry Zarian said at the memorial event.

“I can’t fathom if those men and women had not fought for our freedom what we would be doing today, because our country would be totally different,” Zarian said.

A solemn tribute at the ceremony to prisoners of war and those missing in action revealed the painful loss that comes with war.

“Some died from disease and starvation; some perished in death marches; some were tortured; some were lost — gone forever from their families,” said Retired Lt. Col. Dave Worley of the United States Air Force, chairman of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce Patriotism Committee.

“All were deprived of their liberties, so that you may enjoy yours.”

A pair of combat boots, which stood next to the table, represented a soldier’s final march during the last battle, Worley said.

“This fitting tribute reminds us of those of all branches of service that gave the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.

Retired Rear Admiral Dan Coughlin, who fought in the Vietnam and Cold wars, told audience members that President Lyndon B. Johnson extended the Vietnam War on a false premise, which ultimately led to 58,000 U.S. troops being killed.

“What a loss of human life, and for what?” he said.

During the ceremony, Retired Major George Haney, 95, of Glendale, recalled his trip for the Air Force during World War II.

“I am so proud to be here,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Mark MacCarley of the United States Army Reserve told the audience that he wished more community members would “make the effort and spend the hour to say ‘Thank You’.”

“That is my dream and my hope,” he said.

Mayor Laura Friedman reaffirmed the city’s commitment to helping struggling Glendale servicemen and women.

The city last month approved the first housing project for veterans, which will be run by the city, Glendale Memorial Hospital and Mercy Housing, she told hundreds of residents.

Veterans and their families will receive professional medical care and housing, Friedman said.

“We have committed to ending veterans’ homelessness in our city, and we will do that by next year,” she said.

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