Veterans are honored at Fiesta Days

On a sunny Monday, hundreds of La Cañada Flintridge residents braved 80-degree heat to take in the colorful Fiesta Days parade after honoring La Cañada's fallen members of the military at a somber Memorial Day service.

Residents turned out to line Foothill Boulevard for the parade, which turned the city's main thoroughfare from Cornishon to Gould avenues into a colorful procession of classic cars, fire trucks and proud marchers.

Parade dignitaries included elected officials and, as grand marshals, the current and past chairs of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors Fiesta Days and is celebrating its 100th year.

Terry Walker, the 2012 La Cañadan of the Year, and Lauren Barsamian, Miss La Cañada Flintridge, and her court also were featured.

The parade capped a weekend that included a bridge tournament at the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge, a French toast breakfast and car show, a free movie in the park, a barbecue, open houses at Lanterman House and the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn., a fireworks display and the annual Crescenta-Cañada YMCA run.

During the Memorial Day ceremony, veterans sat in the shaded gazebo while local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts read selected letters written by, and to, soldiers over the course of American history, emphasizing sacrifice, honor and those who never made it home.

When the La Cañada veterans stood up to state their name, rank and where they served, the depth of the area's service to the country was made clear: From World War II fighter pilots to special forces in the Vietnam War to a participant in the battle for Sadr City in the recent Iraq war, many a serviceman has called La Cañada home.

La Cañada Mayor Steve Del Guercio and council members Laura Olhasso, Michael Davitt, David Spence and Donald Voss were joined at the service by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, state Sen. Carol Liu (D- La Cañada Flintridge), Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D- La Cañada Flintridge) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank).

Del Guercio started the ceremony off by thanking the veterans for their service and said later that honoring veterans is part of the fabric of the city.

“It's a tremendous testament to the community, and the community's dedication to honoring the men and women who have made sacrifices for this country,” he said.

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