Memorial Day will be observed in Los Angeles County Monday with ceremonies at cemeteries and memorials, a parade in Canoga Park and a grocery chain asking all customers and employees to pause for 60 seconds to honor Americans who died to defend freedom.
Organizers expect more than 5,000 people for the 26th annual Memorial Day Observance at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, billed as the Southland's largest annual Memorial Day observance.
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The program will begin at at 10 a.m. and include the release of 100 doves; a parade of colors presented by all branches of the armed forces, veterans groups and area police and fire departments.
The keynote speaker will be Army Lt. Col. Timothy M. Karcher, who served three tours of duty in Iraq and plans to remain on active duty, despite the loss of his legs above the knees when his vehicle was struck by an anti-tank weapon.
The Canoga Park Memorial Day Parade will return after a year's hiatus, with the theme, "All Gave Some, Some Gave All." The parade will begin at 11 a.m. at Owensmouth Avenue and Sherman Way.
Navy Cmdr. Tom Sutton will be the military grand marshal, sportscaster Jim Hill the celebrity grand marshal and Daily News columnist Dennis McCarthy the media grand marshal.
"Honor & Remembrance" will be the theme of the Memorial Day program at the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Brentwood, highlighting the acts of bravery made by the 14 Medal of Honor recipients buried at the cemetery. Actors Bruce Boxleitner, Robert Davi, David James Elliott, Martin Kove, Kyle Massey and Gerald McRaney and actress Lee Purcell will read excerpts from their citations.
Retired Army Maj. Gen. John T. Crowe will be the keynote speaker.
The program, which will begin at 10:30 a.m. will also include a performance by the U.S. Marine Corps Band and flyovers by aircraft from the California Air National Guard and March Air Reserve Base.
The 15th annual Memorial Day Celebration at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills will begin at 10 a.m. and include patriotic music from the 40th Infantry Band and a rifle salute by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Councilman Tom LaBonge will deliver the keynote address, while Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and California National Guard Spc. Jose Oscar Moreno will also speak.
Observances will also be held at Forest Lawn Memorial Parks in Covina Hills and Long Beach, beginning at 10 a.m., and Glendale, beginning at 1 p.m.
The Southland Commemorates Memorial Day
Ceremonies will also be held at the Eternal Valley Memorial Park and Mortuary in Newhall at 10 a.m., the Memorial Obelisk Monument in Inglewood at 11 a.m. and the Veterans Memorial at Veterans Park in Redondo Beach at 1 p.m.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will honor the military during ceremonies before their 5:10 p.m. game against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium.
Navy Petty Officer First Class Robert J. Kaiser, the 2010 Sailor of the Year for the Expeditionary Strike Group, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and announce "It's time for Dodger baseball." Army Sgt. 1st Class Gigi Theocharides will perform the National Anthem and "God Bless America."
A federal law adopted in 2000 designates 3 p.m. local time as the time for all Americans, in their own way to observe the National Moment of Remembrance. All managers at Stater Bros. stores will make an announcement at that time to pause for 60 seconds to honor Americans who died to defend freedom.
"Memorial Day was originally established to commemorate America's fallen men and women," Stater Bros. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jack H. Brown said.
"Stater Bros. would like to do our part to remind our customers and employees that this is still a sacred and noble holiday and a time when we can all connect as Americans."