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Armen Ross III and his 83-year-old veteran father visited the Los Angeles National Cemetery on Memorial Day to honor his grandfather, who served in the First World War. We're just happy to do what we can to do our part to preserve freedom, Ross III says. Across the Southland, Angelenos joined the Rosses in honoring the nation s fallen soldiers. Ted Chen reports from Westwood for the NBC4 News at Noon on May 28, 2012.
Memorial Day events dotted the Southland Monday as Southern California remembered the nation's fallen soldiers.
Armen Ross III and his 83-year-old veteran father visited the Los Angeles National Cemetery to honor his grandfather, who served in the First World War.
“Back in World War I, the African Americans came in and kind of cleaned up the battlefield after the battle was all over, and they gassed his unit and he died as a result of mustard gas,” Ross III said.
The Rosses represent four generations of military service. Ross III served in Vietnam; his step son served in Iraq and Afghanistan and his father, Armen Ross Jr., served in WWII. He was one of the few members of his Marine Corps unit to return home.
“We’re just happy to do what we can to do our part to preserve freedom,” said Ross III.
Among those honored during the ceremony at LA National Cemetery were four chaplains who, during WWII in 1943, were calming the men on board a ship as it sank. They have also been awarded the congressional medal of honor.
Angelenos came out in droves to honor the nation's service men and women and their families.
In Westwood, the Veteran's Hospital hosted their annual Walk for Warriors, a 5K run to benefit New Directions, which is helping veterans from Vietnam and those now returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
“In LA alone, we have over 8,000 homeless veterans; it’s the homeless capital anywhere in American. So when you look at it from that perspective, we understand we have a huge, huge problem,” said Gregory Scott, New Directions CEO.
More than 50,000 people celebrated Memorial Day in Canoga Park, where a 22-year-old parade along Sherman Way featured marching bands, classic cars and equestrian units.
In Santa Monica, thousands of red and white crosses staked in the sand represented the more than 4,400 casualties of the Iraq and Afghanistan war, and the more than 3,200 injured.
The memorial, dubbed the “Human Cost of War Memorial,” is situated on the beach below pier.
Farther along the SoCal coast, anti-war groups in Long Beach remembered the hundreds of teenagers who died in combat, including Lance Cpl. Nicolas Perez, a 19-year-old Marine from Austin, Texas.
Perez died Sept. 3, 2004, from “enemy action in Anbar province, according to his cross along six-blocks in Long Beach.
Each white cross includes the name, photo, age and the circumstances of their death.
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