The northeast Los Angeles community has sent many residents into the military, its city councilmember says. That means Memorial Day has a special resonance, and that was evident at an annual flag-raising ceremony Saturday. Michelle Valles reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on May 26, 2012.
A longstanding tradition in El Sereno saw veterans honored Saturday at a ceremonial flag-raising event.
"We need to remember: They have paid so much and we have forgotten so much," said Stephen Smith of Honoring Vets.
The Memorial Day tribute brought dozens of residents to gather at the flag pole at the corner of Eastern Avenue and Huntington Drive.
In this northeast Los Angeles community, honoring veterans is especially important because the area has sent so many of its young residents into the military, Councilman Jose Huizar said.
"If you look at the numbers, compared to a lot of other communities, we've sent a lot of more community members to the military," Huizar said.
The event in part honored George Cabrera Sr., a World War II veteran who served on 35 bombing runs over Germany, according to the blog Our Town El Sereno. Cabrera died in April at age 89.
His son, George Cabrera Jr., said: "I felt my father fought for the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy right now."
Iraq war veteran Art Garcia, a local, said he was at the event honoring a Texas marine he had never even met. The man was killed just after Garcia landed in Iraq in 2005.
"He's my brother. He gave his life for the same ideas as all of us that joined -- for this country," Garcia said.